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Melbourne extends lockdown, adds work permits & 9pm curfew

Authorised workers across Melbourne will be required to carry permits when working, and when travelling for work, from 11:59pm on Tuesday August 17, under the new lockdown restrictions. The permits, available on the coronavirus website, need to be certified by an employer. 

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    (image: ABC News)

The lockdown across Melbourne will be extended and a curfew will be in place across metropolitan Melbourne from 11.59pm on Monday night. 

“After almost two weeks of restrictions in Victoria, it’s clear the number of coronavirus cases out in the community is still too high, it’s spreading too far and there are too many exposure sites cropping up every day,” said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. “Cases diagnosed yesterday were infectious in the community for a total of 15 days, compared to 0 for the same point during the last outbreak.

“There have been a number mystery cases discovered over the course of the last week which indicate the virus is moving around undetected in the community. Victoria’s public health team believe additional measures are needed to limit movement across Melbourne to slow the spread of this highly infectious Delta variant and enable us to open up again as soon as possible.”

The restrictions will be extended in metropolitan Melbourne until 11.59pm on Thursday, 2 September, an additional 14 days.

“The strengthened settings will see a curfew imposed from 9pm to 5am every night,” Andrews said. “This will operate as it did last year, with very limited reasons to leave the home during this time. There will be increased police presence across metropolitan Melbourne to ensure public health measures are enforced. While the restrictions commence from 11.59pm tonight, we are asking people to respect the curfew from 9pm.

Work

Permits will be required to leave the house for authorised work, consistent with the arrangements that were in place last year. Additional restrictions will also apply to the construction industry, again operating as it did last year with staffing reductions in place except for critical infrastructure and emergency repairs. At large scale construction sites, staffing must reduce to 25 per cent or five workers on site, whichever is higher.”

Authorised workers will be required to carry permits when working, and when travelling for work, from 11:59pm on Tuesday August 17. The permits need to be certified by an employer. Permits will be available on the coronavirus website before these directions come into effect.  

Permits will also need to be carried by higher education students who are on the Authorised Provider list. Playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment will now be closed. People will not be able to remove their masks to drink alcohol in public.

“Exercise will be limited to just you and one other person, plus dependants if they can’t be left at home,” said Andrews. “This is similar to the current rule, but with a slight change so that if you live in a larger household such as a share house, or with extended family, you can no longer exercise with all members of your household. Otherwise, the restrictions will remain the same – there are still only five reasons to leave your home: shopping for the things you need – one person per household per day, care and caregiving, exercise, authorised work and study – and to get a vaccine.

“Exercise and shopping are still limited to 5km from your home. If there’s no shops in your 5km radius, you can travel to the ones closest to you. You are also able to travel more than 5km to get a vaccine if you need to. And more than ever, it’s critical people do not have visitors to the home.

“Increasing our vaccination coverage in Victoria also remains one of the most important things we can do given the current coronavirus outbreak and the potential for further interstate incursions this year.

“These restrictions are hard work for every Victorian. Everyone wants this pandemic to be over, but the rules are in place for a reason – we know they work and if we follow them together, we’ll be able to lift them sooner.

“All Victorians are encouraged where possible to book their vaccination appointment by visiting portal.cvms.vic.gov.au or by phoning the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.”