The five-day shutdown – the state’s fifth lockdown since the pandemic started – was due to end at 11.59pm tonight.
Premier Daniel Andrews has today revealed that Victoria’s lockdown will be extended beyond midnight Tuesday as the state’s cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, linked to the outbreak that sparked Sydney’s lockdown.
The key takeaways
- Victoria’s lockdown will be extended beyond midnight Tuesday for seven more days
- Victoria is scheduled to come out of lockdown next Tuesday
- Premier Daniel Andrews has also announced any travel to Victoria using red zone permits will be temporarily paused
The Premier announced the likelihood of a lockdown extension yesterday after Victoria had 13 more local coronavirus cases on Monday, including one announced on Sunday. All of Monday’s cases, including an infection in Mildura, in the state’s far north-west that was confirmed on Sunday, are linked to existing outbreaks. Other cases include one at a Melbourne pub where hundreds of people gathered to watch the Euro football final early last Monday which has sparked alarm among state health authorities.
Today, Victoria reported nine new local cases of COVID-19. A total of 13 cases were detected in the reporting period to midnight, with four of those infections announced yesterday. The Department of Health confirmed 12 of today’s new cases were linked to current outbreaks and one mystery case was under investigation. There are now 85 total active cases and around 18,000 close contacts of those 82 cases.
As such, the Premier has insisted the state remain locked down for an extra seven days.
“As promising as our progress has been, avoiding a New South Wales-style long, lengthy, very challenging lockdown, where you just lose control of cases, we have avoided that. But we need more time,” Premier Andrews said.
“That is why on the advice of the chief health officer we will extend these lockdowns for a further seven days. We are all going to work very, very hard to have Victoria begin the process of opening up at midnight next Tuesday, 27th.
“So seven days from midnight tonight. We wish we could bring this in earlier, but we can’t run the risk that there are cases out there that we don’t know about.
“There are chains of transmission that are not yet contained that we don’t know about and if we would open up we would see how quickly this runs, we see how challenging this can become in a very short space of time.”
Current restrictions will remain in place, however, Andrews has also announced any travel to Victoria using red zone permits will be temporarily paused and schools for children with special needs will stay open.
The Victoria/NSW border would be closed to all but essential workers or people with compassionate exemptions from midnight tonight for two weeks.
“Victorians have got this and we’ll see how it unfolds over the next seven days.
“This extension is not what we wanted to do but it is the only option, it’s what must be done.
If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline 1800 675 398 – open 24 hours, 7 days – and get tested.