Victoria: 7 Day Lockdown Starts Midnight Tonight

Pablo Tucker
May 27, 2021

The "circuit-breaker" lockdown is created to allow contact tracers to get on top of cases, with residents permitted to leave home only for essential reasons including getting vaccinated.

Schools will move to remote learning and public venues must close while public gatherings are banned.

The state will be plunged into a seven-day lockdown from 11.59pm tonight as health officials aim to stop the spread.

Funerals will be limited to 10 people plus those running the service, while weddings must be called off unless end of life or deportation reasons apply.

Religious activities will not take place, other than through a broadcast that involves a maximum of five people.

Victoria will go to into lockdown from 11.59 tonight (local time) for a week as a result of Melbourne's Covid-19 cluster.

The lockdown will be enforced after authorities identified 10,000 primary and secondary contacts linked to a Covid-19 outbreak in the state capital Melbourne's northern suburbs, reports Xinhua news agency.

"We've seen overseas what happens if this thing gets away", he said.

India, in contrast, has an out-of-control strain of Covid and has so far recorded 26 million cases and 311,000 deaths - with hospitals overwhelmed and a shortage of vaccines.

He said the reason for the high number of primary contacts is because of the "generations of transmissions" which occurred before the first case in the outbreak was identified. That's faster than ever. "And yet this variant is still moving faster".

In Melbourne, tens of thousands joined lengthy queues to be tested for Covid-19, while others rushed to get jabbed as the state opened up mass vaccination centres to people aged 40-49 for the first time.

Merlino said from tomorrow, vaccinations at state sites would be expanded to include residents over the age of 40, who will be eligible to receive the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines.

"I really encourage everyone, if you're eligible, get vaccinated", Mr Merlino said. "We would not be in this position that we are today, this necessary and hard position. if our vaccination rates were much higher than they are right now".

The outbreak has been traced back to a man in his 30s who is thought to have been infected with the highly-infectious variant inside a quarantine hotel in neighbouring South Australia just hours before being allowed to go home, where he fell ill.

Health Minister Greg Hunt added that first vaccine doses were now being delivered to the remaining aged care homes in Victoria, where hundreds died when the virus swept through the facilities past year.

"That is not a criticism, it is just a fact, we have had breaches in hotel quarantine right around our country. If we had the vaccine, the commonwealth's vaccine program effectively rolled out, we may well not be here today, talking about these circuit-breaker restrictions that we must impose to keep our community safe".

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