Victoria’s ‘circuit breaker‘ lockdown extended for Melbourne, restrictions to ease for regional Victoria

Victoria’s ‘circuit breaker‘ lockdown extended for Melbourne, restrictions to ease for regional Victoria

Ocean Grove, photo by Visit Geelong & The Bellarine.

Acting premier James Merlino announced that the current restrictions remain in place for the next seven days for Melbourne.

Victoria’s seven-day ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown is to continue beyond its original Thursday deadline for Melbourne as authorities reveal a positive Melbourne case travelled to NSW while potentially infectious, while regional Victoria is likely to see an easing of restrictions from tomorrow night.

Senior government ministers met last night to receive a high-level briefing from health authorities about extending the stay-at-home orders past 11.59pm on Thursday, June 3 in an attempt to combat an outbreak in which one in 10 positive cases have caught the virus from a stranger.

The state’s outbreak has now reached 60 active cases, with 6 new cases recorded overnight and more than 357 exposure sites revealed, including spots in Anglesea Transfer Station, IGA Anglesea, the Anglesea Golf Club – Bistro on May 25, and IGA Anglesea and Oakes Bakery on the Great Ocean Road.

Acting premier James Merlino announced that the current restrictions remain in place for the next seven days for Melbourne.

“On the advice of the Chief Health Officer Professor Sutton the current restrictions remain in place for Melbourne for a further seven days with some small changes,” Mr Merlino said.

From 11.59pm tomorrow night there will still be only five reasons to leave home:

  • Shopping for food and supplies,
  • Authorised work and study,
  • Care and care giving,
  • Exercise,
  • Getting vaccinated.

People will be able to travel a little bit further for exercise and shopping with an expanded 10km radius.

Students in years 11 and 12 will return to face-to-face learning, and that includes students in other year levels that are undertaking a Unit 3/4VCE subject.

A number of outdoor jobs will be added to the authorised lift. Things like landscaping, painting installing solar panels or letterboxing.

Other restrictions including mask-wearing remain in place.

Mr Merlino said he expects these restrictions to be eased in seven days.

“I want to be up-front with people that even if all goes well, we won’t be able to have people from Melbourne travelling to regional Victoria during the Queen’s birthday long weekend,” Mr Merlino said.

Mr Merlino has however said regional Victoria will most likely see an easing of conditions – depending on testing over the next 24 hours.

  • The five reasons to leave home will be removed and there will be no limit on the distance you can travel from home.
  • You can only travel to Melbourne for a permitted reason and you must follow Melbourne restrictions once you are there.
  • Outdoor gathering limits can occur with up to 10 people.
  • Gatherings indoors are limited to two people, and infants under 12 months are not included in that cap.
  • Food and hospitality will be open for seated service only, with a cap of 50 people per venue, subject to density requirements of one per 4 square metres.
  • Retail can open and personal services such as beauty and tattooing can resume for services where masks can remain on. Religious gatherings and ceremonies are permitted for 50 people plus one faith leader indoors or outdoors.
  • Gathering limits for weddings will be 10 people and for funerals, 50 mourners. Junior outdoor community sport will return and adults will be able to resume training outdoors.
  • Outdoor pools, including swimming classes can operate with a limit of 50 people with a density quota of one per 4 square metres.
  • Libraries and toy libraries can open with a cap of 50 people subject to density requirements.
  • Outdoor seated entertainment, seated and unseated will have a patron cap of 50 people or 50% of the venue’s seating capacity, whichever is lower.

Restaurants, beauty parlours in Regional Victoria will be required to check IDs of patrons.

“Businesses that are open in regional Victoria but closed in Melbourne, so restaurants and beauty, for example, must check the IDs of everyone they serve,” Mr Merlino said.

He said this was because people broke the rules and took the virus with them to regional areas.

Mr Merlino said the variant currently in the community was “quicker and more contagious than we have ever seen before”.

He said vaccinations were the best way to protect against contracting the virus, but only 2 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated.

“If we let this thing run its course, it will explode. We’ve got to run this to ground because if we don’t, people will die,” Mr Merlino said.

“And if that happens, it’s our most vulnerable. It’s our parents, it’s our grandparents, it’s Victorians with underlying conditions or compromised immunity.”

You can read the full statement from the Premier here.