By Gabriella Payne
The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that the state will be going into a five day hard lockdown from 11.59pm tonight, in an attempt to “suppress” the escalating Covid-19 situation.
Mr Andrews said that it was “with a heavy heart” that he announced this news, but it was a “necessary” step in order to contain the highly contagious Delta variant.
The five day lockdown will see the 5km radius imposed once again for people all across the state, and there will be only five reasons to leave your house.
These reasons include shopping for necessary goods and services (one person per household, once per day), caregiving or compassionate reasons, authorised work or permitted education, exercise (up to two hours per day, with one other person or members of your household) or to receive a vaccination.
Face coverings must be carried at all times and must be worn both indoors and outdoors, except if at home or visiting an intimate partner.
Private and public gatherings are not permitted, except for intimate partner visits or for those in a single bubble.
Schools will be thrust back into remote learning, and if you can work from home, you must.
The five day lockdown will be under review as it progresses, but at this stage is set to finish at 11.59pm on Tuesday 20 July.
Mr Andrews said that there were currently “a total of 18 cases [of Covid-19] in Victoria” and “75 exposure sites, 1,500 primary close contacts and 5,000 secondary close contacts”.
“This is a hard lockdown, and is similar to what we did a few weeks ago,” Mr Andrews said.
“If you were closed then, you will be closed now.”
“We have to have an abundance of caution given how virulent, how infectious and how fast this Delta variant moves,” he said.
“You only get one chance to go hard and go fast.”
Mr Andrews said that “nothing about this virus is fair” and he knew that this decision was not an easy one to make.
“This is not where we wanted to be and it’s not easy, but it is essential.”
More to come.