Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed that the state’s five-day lockdown will end on time at 11.59pm tonight, following no new locally acquired coronavirus cases overnight for the first time since February 9.
There were almost 40,000 tests overnight and today marks the fifth day of a snap lockdown after the UK variant of coronavirus leaked out of hotel quarantine.
The premier Daniel Andrews and his most senior ministers met for a final discussion this morning to decide if the five-day lockdown can be lifted tonight.
The key takeaways
- Victoria’s snap ‘circuit-breaker’ coronavirus lockdown to end tonight as planned
- Mask rules and home visitor restrictions remain
- There are still 25 active cases in the state, but no new infections were found locally or in hotel quarantine
Mr Andrews said the “circuit breaker” had worked. There are still 25 active cases in the state, but no new infections were found locally or in hotel quarantine on a day that Victoria processed its biggest ever number of tests.
Andrews has revealed that from midnight tonight, the five-kilometre limit for leaving home and the four reasons to leave home (shopping for things you need, care and caregiving, exercise and essential work) is no longer in place.
From 11.59pm Wednesday until Friday 26 February (at least); faces masks will be required outside the home, both indoors and outdoors, where you cannot physically distance; Victorians will only be allowed to have five visitors in their home (up from zero), and public gatherings of up to 20 people are allowed.
Up to 50 per cent of public and private sector can return to work with that moving to 75 per cent after February 26, schools will reopen and retail and hospitality density limits return to same rules as last week, prior to the circuit breaker lockdown.
Community facilities, entertainment venues and all other public places – although some additional limits on crowd sizes will be in place.
Visits to hospitals and care facilities will be limited to one household per day, with some exceptions.
Mr Andrews said there wouldn’t be a limit on weddings or funerals, but there would be density restrictions based on the venues where they’re held – and that applies to both indoor and outdoor locations.
“I want to thank those Victorians who’ve made it possible – and I want to thank every Victorian for their patience,” Andrews said.
“Because of you, we’ve been able to track, trace and corner this mutant and more infectious strain of the virus.”
The snap lockdown came into effect hours after it was announced on Friday and was prompted by fears the more infectious B117 “variant of concern” had spread from an outbreak linked to a quarantine hotel into the community. All 19 of the confirmed cases linked to the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport outbreak are understood to have the more virulent UK strain of COVID-19.
You can read the Premier’s statement here.
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