Regional Victoria will enter lockdown from 1pm today
REGIONAL Victoria will join Melbourne in lockdown from 1pm today, Saturday, August 21, as authorities scramble to contain a rapidly growing cluster of COVID-19 in the regional city of Shepparton.
Premier Daniel Andrews said all of regional Victoria is at risk and a statewide lockdown is the only option to head off a scenario like the one playing out in NSW.
The lockdown will continue until 11.59pm Thursday, September 2.
“This is not where we wanted to be as a community. It’s not a decision we wanted to make after Victorians have sacrificed so much, but we have no other option. Cases need to be lower and vaccination rates need to be higher,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“There’s a million things that we miss about life before the pandemic and a million things we’re looking forward to doing again once we’re through this outbreak – each of those is a reason to get vaccinated.”
There is only five reasons to leave your home: to get the food and the supplies you need, to exercise for up to two hours no more than 5km from your home, for care or caregiving, authorised work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.
Face masks will still be mandatory outdoors and indoors (not at home) unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools.
Playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment will be closed. Masks will also not be able to be removed to drink alcoholic beverages. Exercise will be limited to just one other person, plus dependants if they can’t be left at home. People can not have visitors to the home.
Eighty per cent of active cases are aged below 40 and around 25 per cent under the age of nine. The cases currently in hospital include people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
Because of high rate of transmission in young people and the number of childcare centres now designated as exposure sites, all childcare centres across Victoria will be closed except to children whose parents are authorised workers and cannot be supervised at home. Vulnerable children can still attend. A permit system will apply, and further details will be available soon.
Victoria’s public health team are also strongly recommending that primary school aged children, when they are not at home, also wear a mask as an extra precaution against this virus.
More than 45,000 test results were received in the past 24 hours, with 29,539 vaccine doses given at vaccination sites.