Melbourne lockdown extended, curfew reinstated | Blue Mountain Gazette
Melbourne’s lockdown has been extended for two weeks and a curfew reimposed, as the city is “on the verge” of losing control over its latest COVID-19 outbreak.
The tougher rules come after multiple rule violations, including an illegal engagement party and publicity tours, and 22 confirmed cases on Monday.
The lockdown will be extended until September 2, with a 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew, which was in place during the state’s second wave, returning at 11:59 p.m. Monday.
Authorized workers will need to be licensed, playgrounds and public recreation facilities will close, exercise will be limited to two people, and large-scale constructions will be limited to 25% of the staff.
There will be an increased police presence across Melbourne to ensure the rules are enforced.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the state had “no choice but to tighten restrictions, given the rise in mysterious infections, the number of infected children and several illegal gatherings held this past year. weekend.
“I know people are tired. I know people are fed up with this,” he told reporters.
“But each of us has to find within ourselves to make the right choices over the next two weeks to reduce the number of cases and be able to reopen.”
Mr Andrews said he was particularly “angry and disappointed” to hear about an engagement party hosted last week by a prominent Jewish family in south-east Melbourne.
Three people, including a mother and her son in St Kilda East, have tested positive for COVID-19 following the event.
“These are tough choices and they will keep us all locked up longer than we should be,” Andrews said, noting that the vast majority of the Jewish community followed restrictions.
“It’s not a leap of faith. It’s not part of any cultural practice. It’s just bad behavior.”
The AAP understands that at least two medical professionals attended the event, while another works as a prison chaplain, although they have not visited since February.
Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said police expect to issue a fine on every adult participant.
“It’s going to be over $ 350,000 in fines. It’s an expensive engagement party,” he said.
In a video, seen by AAP, dozens of unmasked people are gathered in what appears to be a private residence, listening to a man give a speech.
“It’s clearly legal as a group therapy session. That’s why my dad is here,” the man joked.
Another party member adds, “He’s a mental health clinician.”
Some 69 people who attended the engagement are now self-isolating, as are 90 of their close contacts.
The Victoria Rabbinical Council urged the community to respect the restrictions.
Chief health officer Brett Sutton said a “bad” number of daily cases could end up being 100 in a fortnight, or thousands in a month.
“We are right on the edge of the cliff here,” he said.
“We might just be tracking this outbreak, but we’re not ahead of how we need to be to get control.”
State opposition leader Michael O’Brien said the curfew was a government override and called the closure of the playgrounds cruel.
Nineteen of Monday’s new cases are linked to known outbreaks, while 14 cases were in quarantine throughout their infectious period.
There are currently over 14,200 close contacts across Victoria and over 500 exhibition sites.
Six people are hospitalized to fight the virus, including a child in intensive care in stable condition.
Australian Associated Press