Yesterday news broke that there were four locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in Melbourne — the first cases of community transmission in the state for months.
One new case has been discovered overnight, which has people rightly concerned, as the family of four positive cases — two men, a woman and a child — had been moving around throughout the past week.
Currently, COVID officials haven’t been able to identify the source of these cases, but contract tracing is racing to find it.
In the meantime, we need to make sure that we’re across the new restrictions, and that we’re wearing our masks when required. Now might be a good time to stock up on disposable masks, or sew yourself a new one again, as we’re going to need them!
Following news of the new case, restrictions are being implemented across metropolitan Melbourne at 6pm tonight — but for now, it’s not a lockdown. The restrictions are pretty minor, but crucial, and will last until Friday, June 4.
According to ABC News, the restrictions include:
- Private gatherings being limited to five people per day
- Public gatherings are now limited to 30 people
- Face masks are to be worn indoors by everyone 12 years old and up — unless an exemption applies
Face masks have been a hot topic of debate in the last few weeks, as a noticeable chunk of people have been failing to wear them on public transport. Although Melbourne has been a COVID-free state for the past few months until now, our public transport system still required people to wear masks that cover their mouth and nose when onboard a train, tram or bus.
Similarly, it’s still been a requirement to wear face masks in ride shares such as Uber, DiDi and Ola — however, some drivers and passengers have been negligent with doing so.
It’s been reported by the Hit Network, that Victorian commuters now face hefty fines for not wearing a mask on public transport. As of yesterday, Police and Protective Services Officers are patrolling trains, trams and busses ensuring travellers are wearing a face mask. Those who actively refuse to wear a mask will cop a $200 fine.
Public Transport Users Association’s Tony Morton believes “the tougher approach makes sense”.
“It’s not that public transport is necessarily the riskiest place for contracting COVID, it’s that you can’t enforce a QR code check-in on every vehicle”, he said.
A free mask will first be offered, for those who don’t have one.
Schools and workplaces are remaining open, and those who live in Greater Melbourne can continue to travel to regional Victoria.
In terms of events, weddings, funerals and bars, there is currently no change to these — excluding the fact masks will need to be worn in these events. If a wedding or funeral is being held in a private setting, the restrictions do apply.
Apart from these changes, everything else is staying as is. The best thing we can do is take these small restrictions seriously — after all, we’ve been through worse.