Victorian’s will have to get creative with some in-home Valentine’s Day plans as the state locks down for five days.
Five new positive coronavirus cases related to the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn outbreak prompted Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to enforce stage four restrictions from tonight at 11:59pm until 11:59pm on Wednesday, 17 February.
The positive cases have contracted the ‘UK strain’ which is proving to be far more infectious.
“We are having cases test positive – and we, in rapid time we get notified of that positive test result – by the time we find that case as positive, they’ve already infected their close contacts. Their family. People they live with, people they’ve spent time with.
That makes it incredibly difficult, incredibly difficult to do contact tracing, because there is no gap, if you like, between when we have the first case and their close contacts and potentially others that they have spent time with,” Mr Andrews said.
Victorians will only be able to leave home for four reasons: shopping for essentials, care and caregiving, exercise and work, if it is essential.
The five kilometre radius will also be reinforced, meaning shopping and exercise will have to take place close to home.
Face masks will need to be worn indoors and outdoors when leaving home and households will not be able to host guests. Additionally there will be no capacity to visit private or state residential aged car, and capacity restrictions will be placed on public and private hospital visits.
Public gatherings will also be halted, however funerals will be able to go ahead with up to ten people. Those who planned for a Valentine’s weekend wedding will unfortunately need to postpone.
Major sporting matches like the AFLW and the Australian Open will continue however spectators will not be permitted to watch and cheer on.
School students will return to remote learning during this time, unless they require onsite supervision as the children of essential workers. Those at TAFE or university will also have to continue their study at home. Childcare and kinders will remain open but gyms, pools, community centres, entertainment venues and libraries will all need to close.
Those who were hoping to romantically wine and dine their loved one will have to miss out on heading out to a restaurant, as cafes and restaurants will only be able to offer take-away.
State authorities are also issuing swift border closures as Queensland declare Greater Melbourne a hotspot and will not be allowing Melburnians into the state for two weeks.
Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan also announced a 72-hour hard border with Victoria, starting at 9:00pm AEDST tonight. Only exempt travellers from Victoria will be allowed into the state.
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein joined in announcing that Victoria will be declared “high risk” from midnight tonight and non-Tasmanian residents will be denied entry, however though extreme circumstances can apply for an exemption.