Update: Thursday, May 27, 2:00pm
In this morning’s press conference, it was announced that all of Victoria will be put into a “circuit breaker” lockdown, starting from 11:59pm tonight, May 27. It will stay in place until 11:59pm on June 3. There are now 34 active cases in the state, with over 10,000 casual contacts.
According to Acting Premier, James Merlino, there is a “risk of people in metropolitan Melbourne moving into regional Victoria and spreading transmission of the virus,” which has prompted the lockdown. In addition to this, there was “very strong advice from public health,” he said.
As reported in The Guardian, Victorian residents cannot leave their homes unless it’s for one of the following five approved reasons:
- Authorised work or education
- Caregiving, compassionate and medical reasons
- To get vaccinated
For both shopping and exercise, people need to stay with 5km of their house. Another rule of exercise is that there is a two-hour limit, and you can only exercise with one other person.
Masks must be worn at all times, everywhere, except for in your home or if you have a medical exemption.
Original: Thursday, May 27, 9:30 am
Two days ago, we reported that there was a small cluster in Melbourne, consisting of five cases, which reintroduced restrictions to metropolitan Melbourne. Masks made a comeback, and the Trans-Tasman bubble between the state and New Zealand was paused. One of our writers, who’s based in Melbourne, wrote about the growing cluster yesterday, which had swelled from five to 15 in one day.
And today, it’s been reported by ABC News that a lockdown will be announced today by the Victorian Government, in a bid to curb the growing outbreak — the latest figures put the number of cases at 26, as 11 cases have been confirmed overnight. An additional concern is the almost 80 exposure sites, including Docklands Stadium.
Senior government officials told the publication it would last for at least seven days, however, it’s unclear if the lockdown will be statewide or just apply to Melbourne. Meetings were held late into last night, attended by health officials and senior ministers, and further meetings are due to be held this morning, to finalise details.
Victorian state political reporter Richard Willingham told ABC News Breakfast a press conference is expected around 10:30am or 11:00am this morning.
The list of exposure sites includes cafes and businesses in Mordialloc, Carnegie, Burwood East, and Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, as well as a medieval battle recreation event in Parkville. The Victorian Government has provided a full list of exposure sites, as well as corresponding health advice.
Those who have visited a Tier 1 exposure site must immediately isolate, get a COVID test, and quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure. Those in Tier 2 should urgently get tested and isolate until a negative result is received. People who have visited Tier 3 sites should monitor for symptoms. If symptoms do develop, get tested immediately and isolate until a negative result is received. Testing sites can be found here.
To our friends in Victoria, stay safe, stay home, remember your mask. We’re thinking of you.