Australian state starts 'circuit breaker' coronavirus lockdown; limits movement, bans outside exercise

Henrietta Strickland
November 22, 2020

But after the lies of one man with COVID-19 were uncovered, lessening fears for the severity of the outbreak, Premier Steven Marshall said he would not let "the disgraceful conduct of a single individual" keep the state locked down any longer than necessary.

"The lie was the person claimed that they had purchased a pizza from the pizza shop, where in fact they were working there and had been working there for several shifts", the Commissioner said. A ban on outdoor exercise and dog-walking was lifted Friday after the circumstances around the pizza-shop worker were revealed.

The state was plunged into one of the strictest lockdowns in the world Thursday after contact tracers said a man became had become infected after buying a takeaway pizza.

The shock announcement came just two days after the state government ordered people to stay at home and shut many businesses to combat what was considered a highly contagious outbreak of coronavirus.

Premier Steven Marshall indicated a tough lockdown for the state's nearly two million people would end late on Saturday, at least two days earlier than planned.

Authorities are yet to contact about 40 people linked to the outbreak.

Since then, tens of thousands of tests have shown no new community transmission and the cluster totals only 25 cases, leading to accusations that authorities overreacted. "Their story didn't add up".

There is now only one active case remaining in the state, who is making "a slow but steady recovery" Victoria's Health Minister, Martin Foley, said today.

"It could mean a number of things in the Altona could mean there is someone in the community that we've missed, it could mean someone was travelling through that left the virus behind or it could mean the virus is being shed", Mr Foley said.

"To say that I am angry at this individual's actions is an absolute understatement".

A worker at the Woodville Pizza Bar told contact tracers he was a customer, which sparked a six-day state shutdown. "These selfish actions of this individual have put our entire situation in a very hard situation".

"I think it's clear to say that this person's actions have had a devastating effect on our society", said Stevens.

Last month, the Australian city of Melbourne exited a 112-day lockdown, recording no new Covid-19 cases for the first time since June.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the state's border with South Australia would close from 11.59pm on Thursday.

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Other reports by Click Lancashire

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