Victoria’s worsening outbreak of the Delta strain of coronavirus has forced the introduction of new restrictions in Greater Melbourne.
The state recorded 77 new cases on Saturday and Premier Daniel Andrews announced a snap lockdown of regional areas, which will be under the same conditions as Melbourne – except for the nightly curfew – from 1pm.
On top of the lockdown news, Mr Andrews announced several new restrictions for Melbourne, which has seen its lockdown period extended to September 2.
Childcare has been moved to permit-based system for essential workers, while construction in the city has been reduced to 25 per cent.
Further, changes will be made to Melbourne businesses operating in high-risk industries like abattoirs and meat, poultry and seafood processing, with additional obligations such as workforce limits and mandatory surveillance testing to be implemented.
Prospective aged care residents will not be allowed to inspect facilities under the new restrictions, while masks for primary school children have been recommended.
“There is every good reason and it is essential that people come forward as soon as they register symptoms,” the Premier said.
“There are in the cases we are reporting today … there are some people who have not been quick to get tested.
“They have perhaps had symptoms for a period of time, and unknowingly, they have spread this virus. So it is really, really important, really important, that everyone who has got symptoms goes and acts on the symptoms — goes and gets tested.”
RELATED: Regional Victoria’s snap lockdown explained
Victoria is under heavy threat of having cases explode after new cases were detected in Shepparton.
“It does show regional Victoria is under threat,“ Dr Sutton told the media on Saturday.
“That’s why we’ve declared all restrictions in place in Melbourne will apply for regional Victoria.”
The full list of restrictions for regional Victoria can be found here
There are 18 people in hospital across the state, with 8 in ICU and two on ventilators.
There were 29,539 vaccination doses administered yesterday, with 45,670 tests conducted in the previous 24 hour period.
New cases were found in the suburbs of Keysborough, Frankston, Mordialloc, Airport West, all the way across to Melton and down to Point Cook.
“That is pretty much every part of Melbourne with exposure sites, and there will be one near you,” Jeroen Weimar said.
“You have to be aware Covid is circulating the community near you.
“Any case we can stop today, stops us from having thousands of cases in the future.”
44 per cent of Victoria’s current cases are under the age of 20, with around half between 20 and 60. Just 4 per cent are over the age of 60.
As for those fearing a positive result will hurt them financially, the Premier has reminded Victorians that there is “no financial barrier” to getting tested and potentially having to isolate if they are positive.
“If you are going to be down a day’s wages because you are isolating, waiting for a result, hopefully a negative result, there is a $450 essential no-questions-asked payment,” Mr Andrews said.
“And if you are positive you are going to be out of pocket, there is $1500 for the two weeks you will spend in iso. “There is no financial barrier. There is every good reason and it is essential that people come forward as soon as they register symptoms.”