By Taylah Eastwell
Victorians have been plunged into a seven-day snap lockdown after the case recorded eight locally acquired cases.
Premier Daniel Andrews addressed the state just after 4pm on 5 August, announcing tight restrictions from 8pm.
The standard five reasons to leave home are back, which includes getting food and supplies, exercise for up to two hours, caregiving, authorised work or education if you can’t do it from home or to get vaccinated.
Shopping and exercise must be done within 5km of your home or the closest possible supermarket.
Premier Andrews said just three of the eight cases were linked, with the rest being “mystery cases”.
“We don’t know how they got it, we don’t know who they’ve given it to or how many people they’ve given it to,” he said.
“We only get one chance to act fast. My advice to me from the experts is that if we were to wait even just a few days there is every chance that instead of being locked down for a week, this gets away from us and we are potentially locked down until we all get vaccinated, and that’s months away. Others are living that at the moment, we wish them well and we are supporting them but we do not want that here.
Mr Andrews said he is “determined to do everything popular or otherwise to avoid that happening to us”, referring to the extended NSW lockdown.
“We’ve been through that long, long lockdown last year and we don’t want to go back to that,” he said.
“None of us want to be in a situation where we have to lockdown again, but this Delta variant moves so fast,” he said.
Face masks remain mandatory indoors and outdoors unless an exception applies – including all workplaces.
Schools will close and return to remote learning. Vulnerable children, children with disabilities and children of authorised workers can continue attending onsite learning.
No visitors are allowed at home except for intimate partners and exercise is limited to two people.
Childcare and early childhood care will remain open.
The move has left many in regional Victoria questioning the state-wide lockdown, which Mr Andrews said was because there has been a wastewater detection of Covid-19 fragments at Wangaratta.
Minister for Health Martin Foley said “given these new cases we’ve seen over the last 24 hours, we need to put these restrictions in place and follow the rules to drive down the spread of the virus.”