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All of Victoria will be entering a Stage 4 lockdown, starting at 11:59 PM tonight. It will continue for 5 days till 17 February.
The news follows a new outbreak of cases in Melbourne, with five new cases linked to the Holiday Inn cluster yesterday. (The state Department of Health has already added Terminal 4 of Melbourne Airport to its list of exposure sites.)
“I am sad to have to report, it is the advice to me that we must assume there are further cases in the community than we have positive results for, and that it is moving at a velocity that has not been seen anywhere in our country,” said Premier Dan Andrews in a press conference.
Considered a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown, it means:
- Wearing a masks is mandatory outdoors
- No crowds at the Australian Open currently underway
- Victorians can step out of their homes for four reasons only: shopping for essentials, essential work and education, exercise with household members, and giving care
Statement on Victoria’s Circuit Breaker Action pic.twitter.com/XXwfjxU2Bb
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) February 12, 2021
What does this mean for other states?
The Northern Territory has already declared all of Greater Melbourne a COVID hotspot. Meanwhile, 7,000 travellers from Victoria to NSW have been asked to get tested and isolate.
As of now, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has not indicated closing borders to Victoria, citing confidence in the state’s ability to control the outbreak.
Prior to Victoria’s Cabinet Meeting to discuss the lockdown, Prime Minister Scott Morrison had expressed his support for a “short, sharp” lockdown.
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