Due to the current level of community transmission of coronavirus in Victoria from the recent New South Wales (NSW) incursions, the current lockdown across Melbourne will be extended for another seven days.
“We want Victoria back to CovidSafe settings as soon as possible – and this our best option to get us there safely and quickly. Victorians can also help us achieve this, by getting themselves vaccinated as soon as they’re eligible,” said Minister for Health Martin Foley.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that the current restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne will remain in place until at least 11:59pm, Thursday 19 August, to stamp out this Delta variant and keep Victorians safe.
Victoria’s contact tracers have worked around the clock to contain this virus but today we still stand with 116 active locally acquired cases, nearly 300 exposure sites and more than 12,000 active primary close contacts around Greater Melbourne.
This is how quickly the Delta variant is moving in the community. It means we need to limit movement for a longer period of time – so contact tracers can get ahead of the virus, just like they have done before.
For the next seven days, you can still only leave home for five reasons: to get the food and the supplies you need, for exercise for up to two hours, for care or caregiving, permitted work or education if you can’t do it from home or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location.
Shopping and exercise must be done within 5km of your home or the nearest location. Face masks will remain mandatory outdoors and indoors (not at home) unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools.
While the situation in NSW remains such a high risk to Victoria, we need to do everything we can to protect our border from further incursions, which put at risk everything Victorians have sacrificed to this point in the pandemic.
To help achieve this, residents of the cross-border community local government areas will now be required to obtain a permit to cross between Victoria and NSW from 6pm, Friday 13 August.
We know the changes to border rules have been a challenge for border residents, but the permit will improve our ability to track who is entering Victoria from NSW and make it easier to rapidly get information to contact tracers and to monitor for compliance.
The reasons Cross Border Community Area residents can cross the Victorian-NSW border still include:
Necessary goods and services, including medical care
Care or other compassionate reasons
Work (whether paid or voluntary, including for charitable or religious purposes)
Education (including childcare or early childhood services)
Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination
Organised/community sport and exercise connected to or organised by a club or facility.
Residents will be able to apply for a permit from Thursday afternoon at the Service Victoria website, service.vic.gov.au and via the Service Victoria app.