As Melbourne struggles with the ongoing high level of community transmission of Covid-19, the Victoria Government has announced that the city’s current lockdown has been extended and a curfew put in place.
The lockdown thus remains in place for a further two weeks – until 11.59pm on Thursday, 2 September. In addition, a nightly 9pm to 5am curfew kicked in from midnight last night (Monday night).
“After almost two weeks of restrictions in Victoria, it’s clear the number of coronavirus cases out in the community is still too high; it’s spreading too far and there are too many exposure sites cropping up every day,” a statement from the Premier’s Office said.
“Most concerningly, there have been a number of mystery cases discovered over the course of the last week which indicate the virus is moving around undetected in the community.
Restrictions slow the spread of Delta variant
“Victoria’s public health team believe additional measures are needed to limit movement across Melbourne to slow the spread of this highly infectious Delta variant and enable us to open up again as soon as possible.”
The curfew will operate as it did last year, with very limited reasons for people to leave their homes during the night. The State Government says there will be an increased police presence across metropolitan Melbourne to ensure public health measures are enforced.
Permits are required to leave the house for authorised work, consistent with the arrangements that were in place last year. Additional restrictions also apply to the construction industry, again operating as it did last year with staffing reductions in place except for critical infrastructure and emergency repairs.
At large scale construction sites, staffing must reduce to 25 percent or five workers on site, whichever is higher.
Workers are to carry permits while they work
Authorised workers will be required to carry permits when working, and when travelling for work, from 11:59pm today (Tuesday). The permits need to be certified by an employer.
Permits must also be carried by higher education students who are on the Authorised Provider list.
“Incidents which occurred in Melbourne over the weekend – people congregating together on pub crawls with no social distancing, different families meeting in parks together, large groups of people visiting other households – were unacceptable,” the State Government said.
“Under the strengthened restrictions designed to curb potential transmission events, playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment will now be closed. People will not be able to remove their masks to drink alcoholic beverages in public.”