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Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire in country Victoria are going back into lockdown from 11.59pm on Sunday after a sudden spike in cases spooked health officials.
Restrictions in the three areas will be the same as those in Ballarat and metropolitan Melbourne, excluding the curfew.
Caseloads in Greater Geelong and Mitchell Shire have seen a sharp rise with 17 and 15 active cases in each respectively to Saturday.
A further two new cases in Geelong, two on the Surf Coast and seven new cases in Mitchell Shire were confirmed in Sunday’s numbers.
Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire in country Victoria are going back into lockdown from 11.59pm on Sunday after a sudden spike in cases spooked health officials. (Pictured Victoria state Premier Dan Andrews speaking at his daily Covid briefing on Sunday)
‘If you’re in Geelong, Surf Coast or Mitchell Shire, follow the restrictions, get tested if you have symptoms, and get vaccinated if you haven’t already,’ said Premier Dan Andrews.
‘Regional communities have overcome outbreaks before – and this will be no different.’
Under the lockdown restrictions, residents won’t be able to leave home other than for necessary goods and services, caregiving or compassionate reasons (including medical care and getting a COVID-19 test).
Authorised work or permitted education, exercise and outdoor social interaction in limited groups, and getting a COVID-19 vaccine are also permitted.
Residents can also leave home to visit their intimate partner or single social bubble buddy.
Shopping, exercise and outdoor social interaction will be limited to 10km from home. Masks will be mandatory indoors and outdoors, and there will still be no visitors allowed to the home.
Residents have four hours a day for exercise and outdoor social interaction, and can meet with one other person, or up to four others from two households if all present have received two vaccine doses. Dependants can also join in.
Health minister Martin Foley (pictured) announced the new restrictions on Sunday but said regional Victorians knew what to expect and what do
‘Regional Victorians know what the show is here,’ said Victorian health minister Martin Foley.
‘They’ve overcome emerging outbreaks before. We’ve seen it in Shepparton several times. We’ve seen it in Mildura, we’ve seen it in Colac.
‘I hope we’re seeing that right now in Ballarat, which is doing an extraordinary job. And I’m sure we will see it in Geelong, in the Surf Coast and Mitchell Shire.’
He added: ‘The most important message – so as to make it short and sharp and make sure that it’s no more than seven days, and with a bit of luck, less than seven days – is to get test and to get vaccinated.’
The new lockdown came as Premier Daniel Andrews finally unveiled his roadmap out of lockdown as the state recorded 507 new cases of Covid-19 and one death.
Victorians will finally be released from the current strict restrictions on October 26 to coincide with when the state hits 70 per cent double-dose vaccination.
There will no longer be any restrictions on leaving home, the 9pm-5am curfew will be scrapped and the travel distance extended to 25km.
Students in Year 12 will return to on-site learning as early as the first week of October with all students to return to classrooms at least part time.
Mr Andrews promised Christmas Day would be as normal as possible with 30 visitors to be allowed inside homes once 80 per cent of the population is fully-vaccinated.
Victorians can enjoy outdoor recreation like tennis and basketball from as early as next week with the government to ease restrictions on outdoor activities.
The changes will take affect when 80 per cent of the population has had a single dose of a Covid vaccine, earmarked for September 26.
Personal training will resume for up to five fully vaccinated people outdoors and the travel limit will be extended from 10km to 15km.
More freedoms will be returned once 70 per cent of Victoria’s population is double vaccinated with lockdown to be lifted and the 9pm-5am curfew scrapped.
‘We are fast approaching those milestones,’ said Mr Andrews on Sunday. ‘At that point we have got to open the place up.
‘Because remaining closed forever, has its own cost, in every sense of that word. So this is a very difficult balancing act.’
All school children will be allowed to return for on-site learning for a few days a week with childcare to open for children of fully-vaccinated parents.
The travel limit for Melbourne residents will be extended to 25km.
Healthcare workers will be required to have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by October 15, with other industries to receive dates for a mandated jab.
The Victorian government is also working towards making it mandatory to be vaccinated to enter some venues.
Mr Andrews said they state would be carefully balancing the easing of restrictions with the pressure on the Victorian health system.
‘We will monitor every hour of every day how many people are in hospital, how much pressure is there on our health system,’ he said.
Are we able to continue to provide the best care to everyone who needs it?
‘There is going to be some very difficult days, and perhaps longer in our health system.’
He added: ‘We will monitor very closely what the impact of this inevitable, this absolutely essential, opening up.
‘We will monitor that impact on you, on your patients, on our health system.’
Source: Daily Mail