Melbourne's COVID-19 outbreak presents biggest test yet of trans-Tasman bubble

Joanna Estrada
May 27, 2021

The "circuit-breaker" is created to allow contact tracers to get on top of cases, with residents permitted to leave home only for essential reasons including getting vaccinated.

Childcare and kinders will open as per the last circuit breaker lockdown earlier this year, while schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children and children of authorised workers.

Hotels, clubs, casinos, community venues and pools are closed.

Visits will not be allowed at aged care facilities except for limited reasons, and hospital visits will only be permitted for end of life reasons, to support a partner during birth, or for a parent accompanying a child.

Weddings are not permitted, unless there are end-of-life or deportation concerns.

"It can help contact tracers quickly find potential close and casual contacts if there is a positive Covid-19 case here in New Zealand", says Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said.

"But despite working as fast as this. this variant is moving faster still".

The virus has leaked out of make-shift hotel quarantine facilities across Australia 17 times in six months, according to the opposition Labor party.

"Unless something drastic happens, this will become increasingly uncontrollable", he said.

"With 10,000 primary and secondary contacts, we have to act now".

'People have got the message that if you are eligible to be vaccinated, please come forward and get vaccinated, ' he said.

"Only way to get through this is for everyone getting vaccinated as soon as they are elligible".

It is the fourth time Melbourne has been plunged into lockdown since the pandemic began, including almost four months of harsh restrictions a year ago.

The Ministry of Health has access to contact information for all arrivals in New Zealand - either an email or phone number, or sometimes both.

More than 40,000 test results were received overnight, with the state's active cases now sitting at 34.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said at the time that the pause would be under constant review.

New Zealand has already suspended its travel bubble with Victoria and while residents are now being shut out of other Australian states, prompting major airlines to slash Melbourne services.

Senior cabinet ministers met late into last night and will reportedly announce the lockdown late this morning following a final meeting between key Victorian Government cabinet ministers.

The list of exposure sites has grown to 79 locations, including the Port Melbourne headquarters of Stratton Finance, Duke Gym in Abbotsford, and Anytime Fitness in Bundoora.

The cluster is believed to have begun with a traveller who returned to Australia from overseas despite a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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