States and territories have reacted to Victoria’s snap five-day lockdown to combat a growing COVID-19 cluster stemming from a quarantine hotel in Melbourne.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed that Stage 4 restrictions will begin at 11:59pm tonight and go until 11:59pm on Wednesday, after it was announced that there are now 13 COVID cases linked to the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport.
Victorians will only be able to leave home under for the following four reasons: to get essential supplies, for care and caregiving, to exercise, and to undertake essential work.
Those who wish to exercise and shop will only be allowed to do so inside a five-kilometre radius from their home.
Victorians will need wear face masks indoors and outdoors, and no visitors will be permitted in homes. And any public gatherings won’t be able to go ahead.
Gyms, pools, community centres, entertainment venues, and libraries will all need to close.
All non-essential retail will close, but essential stores like supermarkets, bottle shops and pharmacies will remain open. Cafes and restaurants will only be able to offer take-away.
Victoria’s hotel and accommodation providers will be able to stay open to support guests already staying onsite, but no new bookings can be made.
Funerals will be able to go ahead with up to 10 people, but weddings will need to be postponed.
The Australian Open will continue as planned today and tonight. However, Tennis Australia said there will no fans onsite at the tennis major from Saturday until restrictions are lifted.
Victoria’s Premier said international flights won’t be accepted in the state unless they’re already in the air.
“Because this is so infectious and is moving so fast, we need a circuit breaker,” Premier Andrews said.
“I know it’s not the place that we wanted to be in.
“However, we’ve all given so much, we’ve all done so much. We’ve built something precious, and we have to make difficult decisions, and do difficult things, in order to defend what we’ve built.
“I am confident that this short, sharp circuit breaker will be effective.”
States and territories respond
Tasmania will shut its border to Victoria from midnight, deeming the entire state ‘high risk’, while Western Australia has announced a 72-hour hard border with Victoria from 6pm AWST (9pm AEDT) tonight.
Having already introduced a hard border to Greater Melbourne, South Australia has is now closing its border to all of Victoria.
The Northern Territory has already declared Greater Melbourne a hotspot, and Queensland will close its border to Greater Melbourne for 14 days from 1am on Saturday.
The ACT said residents who return home from Victoria before midnight won’t have to quarantine, but those who return home from tomorrow must notify ACT Health and enter into self-quarantine until Wednesday night.
Non-ACT residents entering the territory for essential reasons are required to apply for an exemption.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there were no plans to shut the state’s border to Victoria.
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