Victoria in hard lockdown, with more restrictions on the way

Premier bows to increasing case rate, declares Victoria a state of disaster.

melbourne streets devoid of traffic

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has made the tough call to stop the spread of coronavirus infections across the state, declaring a state of disaster and introducing the nation’s toughest lockdown restrictions to date.

Another 397 new cases and three deaths were recorded on Saturday, and 671 cases and seven more deaths on Sunday. Six of Sunday’s fatalities were connected to outbreaks in aged care homes.

In response to these numbers, Mr Andrews announced a daily curfew between 8pm and 5am, as well as tough new restrictions limiting movement around the state.

“Absolutely straight up … if we don’t make these changes we are not going to get through this,” he said.

While the existing restrictions showed signs of working, health data showed that Victoria’s case rate would continue growing and would take until Christmas before easing.

“Six weeks versus a slower strategy … that takes up to six months, I’m not prepared to accept that,” said Mr Andrews.

While the first round of stage four restrictions apply to how we live, more restrictions about how we work are on the way.

Mr Andrews said rules for specific industries would force some businesses to close, and others to slow down operations. It is expected that only supermarkets, greengrocers, petrol stations, pharmacies, bottle shops, butchers and bakers will be allowed to stay open.

Previous stay-home orders and mandatory face mask restrictions have barely stymied the number of new infections.

Under the stage four lockdown restrictions, people in metro areas will not be allowed to travel further than five kilometres from their homes, would be able to exercise for only one hour a day with a group size limited to a maximum of two, and only one person per household will be allowed to go shopping.

From Wednesday, students will return to flexible learning.

From 8pm, no one should be out in metropolitan Melbourne except to work or to give and receive care.

From midnight on Wednesday, stage three restrictions will apply to regional areas, meaning non-essential businesses such as restaurants, gyms and bars will close and people must remain in their homes unless shopping for essentials, care and caregiving, exercise and work or study.

Beauty and personal services, entertainment venues (including museums and galleries), and community sport will be shut down.

And masks are now mandatory for all Victorians.

Most fatalities have been connected to older Australians in aged care or living at home.

“We cannot let this virus tear through regional aged care in the way it has with private-sector aged care in Melbourne,” said Mr Andrews.

“We cannot let it mean more Victorians in hospital beds. More Victorians hooked up to machines just to breathe.

“And more Victorians – more grandparents, parents, sons, daughters, partners and loved ones – choked to death by an invisible enemy.”

More than a quarter of positive cases in Victoria doorknocked by Australian Defence Force (ADF) teams in the past 24 hours were seemingly flouting self-isolation rules.

The new restrictions will go a long way towards protecting the most vulnerable from being put at risk of COVID-19 infection by community members ignoring quarantine rules.

“It is shocking that so many people appear to be putting vulnerable at-risk Australians in the firing line of COVID-19,” said Leading Age Services Australia chief Sean Rooney.

“Aged care staff and providers are on the frontline of COVID-19 but every person across Victoria and our nation is fundamental to the fight.

“Aged care providers have been on high alert for months and need collaboration from the entire community.

“Sadly, these risks cannot be entirely eliminated and stopping widespread community transmission is the best way to protect older Australians either in care or in their own homes.

“This requires every single Australian to maintain heightened vigilance with regard to social distancing, hygiene and local regulations like wearing masks.

“It is a time for every Australian to act together for the safety of our treasured elders.”

The Premier hopes further restrictions will be a “circuit breaker” to hundreds of daily infections.

He also expressed concern about potential “mystery cases” of community transmission in Victoria, above and beyond what was being detected in tests and official data.

“That is in some respect our biggest challenge,” Mr Andrews said.

Asked if the stricter six-week lockdown will get the state’s issues in check, Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton said: “I hope so. It is entirely contingent on everyone in Victoria to make sure it is enough.

“If we do the things we know work … six weeks should be enough.”

While the stage four lockdown applies only to Victoria, other states are on alert after increases in infections and fatalities over the weekend.

The South Australian government has warned of the potential for tougher protection measures after the state recorded two new coronavirus cases on Sunday – one of whom was at school when infectious.

Adelaide received 170 people on Saturday on a flight from India. Officials were expecting some to have COVID-19.

NSW has updated its mask usage advice after recording 12 new infections on Sunday. While masks are not yet compulsory, the state has recommended they be worn in four specific circumstances.

“If you are in an enclosed space and you cannot guarantee social distancing, such as public transport, such as when you are buying groceries, you should be wearing a mask,” said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“Whenever [staff] are facing customers, we strongly recommend that they wear masks.”

People attending places of worship should also wear masks or face coverings, as should people living in known COVID-19 hotspots or areas where there is a high level of community transmission.

Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have reported one new coronavirus case each.

On Saturday, Queensland imposed tighter border restrictions, blacklisting visitors from greater Sydney, along with all people from Victoria.

Some of the cases recorded interstate originated in Melbourne.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed concern and support for Victoria on social media last night.

“Australians all around the country are backing you in, because we all know for Australia to succeed, we need Victoria to get through this,” he posted.

Do you agree with the tough new restrictions? What do you think will come next?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Winston Smith
    3rd Aug 2020
    10:27am
    Definitely the right thing to do. Fingers crossed.
    Tanker
    3rd Aug 2020
    11:00am
    Absolutely.
    Horace Cope
    3rd Aug 2020
    10:58am
    "Do you agree with the tough new restrictions? What do you think will come next?"

    Yes, I agree and if previous restrictions had been followed there would have been no need to impose these very restrictive conditions. It seems that Victorians are a law unto themselves with 25% of people who should be quarantining at home going to work, others refusing to wear masks in businesses that have mask wearing as a condition of entry and others videoing themselves flouting the police directions. Andrews has not come out of this at all well by not enforcing the rules laid down by him and his government.
    Tanker
    3rd Aug 2020
    11:09am
    Like all rules and laws they can only be enforced if perpetrators are actually caught in the act. All Laws and Rules are observed and supported by the community at large. Lawbreakers work of the basis of the chance of being caught and we see that all the time on the roads.
    Given this pandemic everyone should have been obeying the restrictions but it is downright impossible to have a policeman in every street, shop, workplace etc etc. It comes down to everyone behaving responsibly and too many were not.
    While mistakes were made there have been some glaring examples of warnings not being heeded and Private Aged Care is one of those and the Federal Government and John Howard's privatisation and Work Choices have a lotto answer for.
    jan
    3rd Aug 2020
    11:12am
    Yes i agree Horace. I just hope Clive Palmer dose not enter WA and our boarders stay closed. Prevention is better then cure and lock downs.
    ozirules
    3rd Aug 2020
    11:23am
    I agree with your first sentence Horace, but I dont believe Victorians are any different from those from other States. Those two female shites from Queensland who deserve the condemnation they received are a prime example. Victoria is seeing more examples because the pandemic is more widespread but if other States see the same numbers as Victoria I think we'd see the same level anti social behaviour. It seems Australia has been dumbed down and probably by the mollycoddling, over protective, everyone's a winner, civil rights victim attitude that pervades modern life. Our generation must shoulder a lot of the blame since it happened on our watch.
    Horace Cope
    3rd Aug 2020
    11:35am
    Just to add to your comment, ozirules, perhaps the attitude is a product of the government's success. We were originally told by medical experts that we could expect between 50,000 and 150,000 deaths but as the government moved quickly and we have not been as badly affected as other countries, maybe people have become blasé and think the pandemic is not anything to be concerned about.
    Horace Cope
    3rd Aug 2020
    11:38am
    WOW! The blame game has become even more ridiculous thanks to Tanker. Who knew that John Howard is responsible for the COVID-19 spread in Victoria.
    Tanker
    3rd Aug 2020
    11:57am
    John Howard was responsible for the privatisation of aged care facilities and the lack of minimum staffing requirements. This has largely flown under the radar until the Royal Commission.
    Howard work choice introduced the casualisation of the work force and in the case of aged care meant that those lowly paid carers had to find shifts across the sector often working in multiple facilities.
    I did not state, or infer, he was totally responsible for the spread of covid 19 across Victoria but an examination of the places it has spread amongst have a large percentage of casuals withing the work place. This combined with the abysmal situation in many, but not all, of the private aged care facilities can be traced back to Howard's policies.
    Triss
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:21pm
    Yes, tanker, apparently 1/3 of elderly deaths have happened care homes and I believe you’re right, deregulation policies opened the door for profit at any cost.
    Sen.Cit.90
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:21pm
    Let us all pray to God, Please give all politicians Worldwide FORESIGHT rather than so many citizens with HINDSIGHT.
    Cheezil61
    3rd Aug 2020
    3:09pm
    Tanker, I believe you are right re John Howard & Aged Care & Work Choices, IR laws (had seen it first hand when my dad was in Aged Care Home), that's jus one example of that govt's demise of this country!

    3rd Aug 2020
    11:45am
    Yes Andrews has done a terrible job and we all have to suffer because he has no clue what he is doing all is happening are the numbers are going up and up .He allowed the protest March stuffed up the quarantine at hotels would not use the ADF. He is wondering why Victorians are not listening the reason is they have no confidence in what he says because everything he has done has been incorrect.
    This is what you get when you vote in a bunch of idiots
    Tanker
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:02pm
    Yes that was a monumental stuff up with the hotel quarantine but there have apparently not been any virus cases arising from the protest in Melbourne.
    I believed that march should not have gone ahead but how could it be stopped. We have seen the increasing violence the Portland, USA, when force is used against protesters.
    We Victorians are listening and always have been it is just the idiotic minority that have not behave responsibly and caused this lockdown.
    Horace Cope
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:19pm
    Tanker, there was a report from health professionals that at least two protesters had tested positive as a result of the march. The denials of this report have come from government representatives who state that “I don‘t think the Black Lives Matter protesters contributed" which is not a very strong denial. Andrews instructed the police not to fine any protesters which meant that the march had government approval. You ask how could the march have been stopped well NSW has the answer, get the court to say it is illegal, arrest and fine the organisers and fine any others who want to participate. The BLM march lasted about 20 minutes as it didn't have government approval.
    Tanker
    3rd Aug 2020
    6:23pm
    There were 2 or 3 protesters who tested positive after the march in Melbourne but that was so soon after the march they would not have caught it there but earlier. A number of news outlets have made statements different to that but they were owned by a certain person who is a very good mate of Donald Trump.
    The organisers of the Melbourne protest have been fined.
    The NSW march that took place at about the same time, but in Sydney, went ahead.
    Timing of the marches should be recognised as the situation was significantly different between the two Sydney and, hence, Melbourne marches.
    Personally I don't think any of them should have gone ahead and the organisers of the 2nd Sydney one were very short sighted.
    Mikko
    3rd Aug 2020
    11:58am
    Victoria declares a state of disaster. It's name is Dan Andrews.
    Steff
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:12pm
    Never thought id see the day that Australia was subjected to martial law and Curfews.To all you people who think this is a good thing.Be careful what you wish for because i dont think there is going to be any going back from this.The tyrant Andrews now has the whole state of Victoria cowering in their homes and he wont be about to reliquish that power.
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:22pm
    He will be taken out believe me there is a plot as we speak
    Steff
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:26pm
    And get rid of that Quack Rockstar Chief madical officer too.A lot of this stuff is driven by his ego
    Rod63
    3rd Aug 2020
    2:09pm
    Take your blinkers off, Steff. Ridiculous statements.

    Why on earth would Dan Andrews get any pleasure out of what he has had to do? In any case, he is acting on expert advice.

    The decisions are being made to protect Victorians.

    Tell me, in this situation, what would you do? Tell everyone to just go about life as normal as long as they can?

    Yeah, that would work well!
    Anonymous
    3rd Aug 2020
    2:49pm
    yes Rod what Andrews is doing is not working he should give someone else a go?
    Tanker
    3rd Aug 2020
    6:26pm
    Steff and Trebor are both writing nonsense. In general the people here in Victoria, while disappointed about the quarantine hotel debacle, are supportive over the measures now in place. We don't like them but they are necessary.
    Triss
    3rd Aug 2020
    6:29pm
    It's not logical. I understand that a high proportion of the death toll is from care homes so where's the logic in shutting down the whole state instead of investigating the multmillionaire owners of the care homes and sending in the correct number of qualified nursing and catering staff.
    It seems to be "OK we'll lock up the elderly in rooms on their own and that should solve the problem," Dan Andrews is spending so much time patting himelf on the back it's a wonder he hasn't dislocated his arm.
    Also this pandemic is on the media 24 hours a day and therefore people have become desensitised.
    Tanker
    3rd Aug 2020
    9:57pm
    Triss it is more than just the aged care where unfortunately most of the deaths in coming days will be from. Meat works are hotspots as are any workplace that has close contacts because of the nature of the work. Building sites are potential risk areas.
    To nip this off now requires serious action which has now been put in place but if this doesn't work then God help us.
    BillF2
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:23pm
    It's funny how it is only the average powerless citizen who spreads the corona virus - never health officials or government authorities. Funny how aged care facilities are targeted more than other places.
    Of course the health minister believes that this course of action will work, but without even knowing how the virus is transmitted - and it is obviously being done so by more than one method - he is making statements based on blind faith. Hardly re-assuring for Victorians.
    Bakka
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:30pm
    A very unfortunate situation but common round the world and spreading.
    Human nature as it is ...you can always be disappointed but not surprised.
    Turning to Andrews..he has really dropped the ball. However he has managed to perfect the political art of “ announcing the news and reporting the facts but at same time not accepting any responsibility” Very cunning . Bit like a sports broadcaster..they are there at the game calling the action but not involved in it.
    You can fool most of the people most of the time but not all of the people all of the time.
    Arvo
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:36pm
    It is interesting that, the organization "WHO' proclaimed a covid pandemic that's become a 'worldwide plague of panic' injuring and destroying world's economies and its leader is a staunch hardline Communist. There's a quiet but determined tune of '1984' being played in the background.
    Steff
    3rd Aug 2020
    12:47pm
    A great lesson in how to take the annual flu and weaponise it to achieve your ends.worked a treat
    Arvo
    3rd Aug 2020
    1:40pm
    Steff...Depends whether the Australian Health Authorities conduct a random test of the vaccine vials or none at all. If it's the latter...then we are in great strife. Surely, they are not
    that naive and totally dumb not to do systematic random tests...or are they? So, how many of the covid-19 deaths in Australia did not have the flu vaccine at all and how many did?
    Tanker
    3rd Aug 2020
    9:59pm
    The old conspiracy theories lurking just under the surface here.
    The flu vaccine would not have helped against Covid 19 but it should help against catching both at the same time.
    Arvo
    4th Aug 2020
    3:50am
    Tanker- there' are many conspiracy theories around....but guess what?...one or some of them do come true...eventually....after a lot of damage had been done. Besides, you missed the point of the suggestion.
    \
    Wendy HK
    3rd Aug 2020
    1:12pm
    I'm interested to see the crime rate drop with an 8pm to 5am curfew.
    DogLover
    3rd Aug 2020
    2:05pm
    Why should people be allowed to visit a partner, even if the travel is more than 5km, when I, and countless others, are not allowed to visit family members?? I can imagine a lot of people will use the excuse of visiting a partner when actually just visiting friends.
    Cheezil61
    3rd Aug 2020
    3:02pm
    How is any of these restrictions going to help the elderly/those in Aged Care Homes,
    I wonder ? Most of the deaths are related to those places are they not & I'm hearing they are using the same contract labour who service several of the homes & carry their Covid from home to home (all in the name of saving money apparently! Besides all that, we are still encouraged/forced even to go to work if we are a secondary Covid contact (see my paragraph below re my job, it's so absurd)!!
    And as far as work goes; I've been Covid tested today (after a family member caught it & they had been in direct contact wit my mum & I had since had contact wit her twice, so thus I decided to "do the right thing" be cautious & not give it to my workmates, so i had the test & rang work to notify them I wouldn't be in & why (up front & honest as i am) & basically got told it won't be sick leave & thus will not be paid while I'm off work as i have minimal symptoms (tho the Covid people said they were important enough 2 be tested) & there had been no positive result from my mum (yet!) thus it wont be classed as sick leave (even tho i had a stat dec from Covid stating I'd had the test!). It seems they'd prefer to risk my going 2 work & potentially infecting others there & potentially closing the business down than pay me any sick leave (for the record I am not permitted to take annual leave for it either if there are already 2 away on leave either). No wonder people are doing the "wrong" thing (which is encouraged by health authorities & employers) rather than do what's morally & ethically right. We will never stop Covid while this sort of thing is happening!
    tisme
    3rd Aug 2020
    4:16pm
    what mental health support where mental health support ?? there was none before the virus that hasn't changed
    Steff
    4th Aug 2020
    8:41pm
    ITS A FRAUD.!!
    WAKE T/ F UP


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