Australian state of Victoria to enter five-day lockdown following more than a dozen active COVID-19 cases

Thursday, July 15, 2021

A public health announcement from the federal government in Melbourne.
Image: Phillip Mallis.

With at least 18 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, Australia state Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a five-day lockdown to commence at 11:59 PM tonight.

The lockdown regulations list only five reasons to leave home: for food and supplies, exercise, care or care-giving, work or education if not possible from home, and to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. When exercising, people cannot go more than five km away from their home, and for no more than two hours, according to regulations. The vaccination also needs to be administered at the nearest possible location. This is the fifth COVID-19 lockdown in the state of Victoria since the beginning of the pandemic, and the rules applied are the same as the state's fourth lockdown in June.

ABC News attributed the connection to most cases in the state to a "group of removalists" from New South Wales, who crossed through Victoria while they were reportedly infected with the virus. New South Wales is currently facing an outbreak of COVID-19, driven by the virus' Delta variant, and yesterday lockdown in Sydney was extended by at least two weeks.

In a press release, Premier Andrews wrote that "if we act now – while we're right on the heels of this outbreak – we can give ourselves every chance of getting ahead of it. If we wait – we lose that option." Under the new Victorian restrictions, face masks are also be made mandatory outdoors. This follows an announcement made yesterday "face masks must be worn indoors at all times (except at home) and outdoors when it’s not possible to physically distance."