METROPOLITAN Melbourne will be sent back into lockdown from tomorrow night on the back of fears of a growing wave of COVID-19, but almost all of regional Victoria remains unaffected.
The reimposed restrictions apply to all greater metropolitan Melbourne municipalities and Mitchell Shire in the city’s northern fringe.
The restrictions do not apply to the City of Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast Shire, the Borough of Queenscliffe and other areas in regional Victoria, apart from Mitchell Shire.
“It’s clear we are on the cusp of our second wave, and we cannot let this virus cut through our communities,” Premier Daniel Andrews said this afternoon.
“It’s why based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions will be reinstated across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from 11.59pm on Wednesday, 8 July”
Set to run for six weeks, the restrictions will be the same as previously applied to the whole state, with a few minor changes, limiting the reasons people can leave the house to: shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise and work and study.
“This Stay at Home direction will apply to your principal place of residence, that means no escaping to holiday homes,” Mr Andrews said.
“And because we need to limit the spread of the virus across our state, there will only be three reasons to cross the border of these metropolitan areas: Shopping for food and essential items. Care and caregiving. Work and study – if you can’t do it from home.
“Unless you’re a local, that means no fishing trips at Lakes Entrance. No four-hour hikes in the Grampians.”
Mr Andrews said the existing restrictions in regional Victoria will remain unchanged.
“For people who live in regional Victoria, where case numbers remain low, current restrictions will remain the same for now,” he said.”
“We’ve talked about this virus being like a public health bushfire. By putting a ring around metropolitan Melbourne, we’re essentially putting in place a perimeter to protect regional Victorians.”
For the latest updates, head to dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.