Due to the COVID-19 cases reported in the last 24 hours – suspected to be the highly infectious Delta variant – Victoria will enter a statewide lockdown for seven days from 8pm (AEST) tonight.
With suspected Delta cases infectious in the community, as well as a high number of associated close contacts and exposure sites, Victoria’s acting Chief Health Officer has declared stay-at-home restrictions will be reintroduced.
This means from 8pm tonight, there are only five reasons to leave home: getting essential food and the supplies, exercising for up to two hours, care or caregiving, authorised work or education if unable to be done from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.
Victorians will only be able to shop and exercise within five kilometres of their home or the nearest location.
Face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces and secondary schools.
Private gatherings are not permitted except for an intimate partner or nominated person visits. Public gatherings are not permitted. Exercise is limited to two people.
Childcare and Early Childhood Care will remain open. Schools will close, with primary and secondary school students returning to remote learning – except for vulnerable children, and the children of authorised workers who can learn onsite.
Where a parent or carer indicates that a student with a disability cannot learn from home due to vulnerability or family stress, the school must provide onsite learning for that student.
This will apply to students enrolled in specialist schools and students with a disability enrolled in mainstream schools.
Higher education students will also return to remote learning, except for learning programs allowed on the Authorised Premises and Authorised Workers List.
There are no changes to the current arrangements for border communities.
“No Victorian wants to be in this position,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“We know that the Delta variant moves faster than anything our public health experts have seen before – and we know what we need to do to drive it down once again.”
The lockdown move by Victoria comes not long after NSW announced stay-at-home orders would be introduced for Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Singleton, Dungog, Muswellbrook and Cessnock from 5pm (AEST) today until 12.01am on Friday 13 August.
Featured image source: iStock/DavidHewison