Melbourne’s lockdown will be strengthened and extended for a further two weeks from 11:59pm on Monday night following a sustained run of double-digit case numbers.
An angry Dan Andrews fronted the media on Monday morning to announce the lockdown’s extension and widening, pointing to the continued growth of mystery cases and flagrant flouting of restrictions as reasons for the changes.
“We see too many cases, we see too many mystery cases,” the Premier told reporters, “this is spreading in an undetected way across the community. We are at a tipping point.
“We run the risk that if we don’t take these steps now that we will see numbers grow.”
Mr Andrews also singled out an engagement party allegedly held in breach of COVID restrictions as well as a much-publicised footpath “pub crawl” across Richmond.
“I know many, many people across Victoria are angry about that event. It shouldn’t have happened, some of the commentary in that video is just blatant,” Mr Andrews said in response to a video of the engagement party.
“There has been transmission at that event, the only question is whether it will be a super-spreader event.”
The extension means that the current lockdown in place across Melbourne will now be scheduled to finish up on 2 September.
The strengthened lockdown will see a curfew imposed between the hours of 9pm and 5am every night. While the new rules come into effect from 11:59pm on Monday night, the Premier urged Melburnians to heed the new rule from Monday evening.
In light of the so-called Richmond “pub crawl”, Melburnians will now be prohibited from removing their masks outdoors to consume alcohol.
Permits will once again be necessary for authorised workers, with exempted higher education students also required to carry permits to attend in-person learning.
Large-scale construction sites will once again be scaled back to 25 per cent of staffing, or five workers on-site, depending on which is greater.