Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews imposes five-day snap lockdown on Victoria from midnight tonight

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews imposes five-day snap lockdown on Victoria from midnight tonight

There will only be four reasons to leave home.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says a stay-at-home order will be imposed on the entire of Victoria from 11.59pm tonight to stamp out Melbourne’s Holiday Inn virus cluster.

“There will only be four reasons that you are permitted to leave your house and only if you really have to. Shopping for what you need, when you need it. Caregiving for compassionate reasons. Essential work or permitted education where that cannot be done from home. Exercise for two hours per day, with your household members, your intimate partner, or one other person who is not from your household or your partner,” Premier Andrews revealed.

The key takeaways

  • Victoria to re-enter stage 4 lockdown
  • There will only be four reasons to leave home
  • The lockdown will run from 11:59pm tonight until 11:59pm on Wednesday

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The “circuit breaker” action will begin from 11:59pm tonight until 11:59pm on Wednesday, and will see Victoria return to stage this stage four lockdown format in response to fears the “hyper-infectious” UK strain is spreading faster than contact tracers can keep up.

Alongside only the four reasons to leave home, exercise and shopping will be limited to 5km from your home and face masks will need to be worn indoors and outdoors and no visitors will be allowed in homes. Public and private gatherings will not be permitted.

If you can work from home, then you must work from home.

Schools will close but will remain available over those three days – Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday – for vulnerable children or for the children of those who are permitted to go to work, those who can’t work from home.

Childcare and early childhood centres will remain open.

Higher education is closed.

In terms of special events, places of worship are closed other than for broadcasting of services. Religious gatherings and ceremonies are not permitted.

Funerals can involve no more than 10 people. And that applies indoor or outdoor.

Weddings are not permitted unless on compassionate grounds.

“If we wait for a third wave theory to be proven correct, it will be too late. And then we will face the prospect of being locked down until a vaccination is rolled out,” Mr Andrews says.

“That’s months. That’s not days or weeks, that’s months [away]. It’s not a criticism, it’s just that it’s a complex process and it’s going to take some time, and it’s not here yet.

“So, because this is so infectious and is moving so fast, we need a circuit breaker.”

This announcement follows an emergency meeting by the Victorian cabinet held on Friday, amid reports Victoria Police had already been briefed about the state government’s next move after five new COVID cases linked to the quarantine hotel outbreak were confirmed by the Health Department on Friday morning, seeing the outbreak grow to 13.

“Both are household primary close contacts of previously announced cases,” the department posted on Twitter.

On Friday, the department said one case was formally reported after midnight. It was included in Thursday’s data as public health actions began then, including the case interview.

“The five cases listed are the cases confirmed publicly yesterday … The Holiday Inn outbreak total remains at 13,” it said.

The latest lockdown is the result of the quarantine hotel cluster which first emerged on Sunday, with confirmation of virus infection in an authorised officer working at the Holiday Inn.

Visit the Premier’s website for more information.