Victoria in Covid lockdown after outbreak traced to quarantine hotel

James Marshall
May 27, 2021

The new Melbourne cluster was found after a traveler from India became infected while in hotel quarantine in South Australia state earlier this month.

Victorians will need five reasons to leave their homes including food and supplies, care giving, authorised work, exercising for two hours with another person (within 5 km from home) or getting vaccinated.

As first reported by yesterday, six teams - Walkinshaw Andretti United, Erebus Motorsport, Team 18, Tickford Racing, Kelly Grove Racing and Blanchard Racing Team - are on standby to bolt from Melbourne to help ease concerns over border controls from other states.

Australia's second city is heading back into lockdown for the fourth time after an outbreak of the Indian Covid variant traced back to a quarantine hotel in a major blow for the country's strict border closure policy.

Unless there is a drastic improvement in the Melbourne situation, the affected teams will need to either be in NT quarantine, or be in another jurisdiction that has free access to the NT, by June 3.

"Our public health experts' primary concern is how fast this variant is moving".

As of Thursday, there were now 34 active cases in Victoria, with 12 new cases linked to the South Australian hotel quarantine breach.

"The next seven days in Victoria will be very challenging, and of course we are very mindful of the distress and the difficulty that this will impose upon people right across Victoria", he said.

In Melbourne, tens of thousands joined lengthy queues to be tested for Covid-19, while others rushed to get jabbed as the state opened up mass vaccination centres to people aged 40-49 for the first time.

Schools across the state will close for the duration of the lockdown, as will non-essential retail stores, dining-in service at restaurants and cafes, pools, gyms, hairdressers, beauty services and cultural and entertainment venues such as cinemas, tourism and art galleries.

One case is on a ventilator in ICU.

He said Victoria might not be facing another lockdown had the federal government's vaccination rollout happened properly.

The number of cases grew considerably in the past 24 hours after Victoria posted 11 new infections today. More than 40,000 test results were received overnight.

The man, in his 60s, could be the possible "source case" of the Whittlesea outbreak, although a definitive link is yet to be established.

Additional vaccine doses were also being sent to Victoria.

The "circuit-breaker" lockdown 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.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke to reporters this afternoon saying Victorians again faced a "challenge and a battle".

"My message to those Victorians: If you're eligible, get vaccinated".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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