Authorities are scrambling to contain a COVID-19 outbreak centred on the city of Shepparton, putting regional Victorians back on lockdown.
The new restrictions went into effect at 1 p.m. local time, putting the whole state of Victoria under lockdown.
On Saturday, the state reported 61 new locally acquired coronavirus cases, with 39 of them infected in the community.
Only 48 of the cases have been linked to known outbreaks, according to authorities.
Rapid testing has revealed an additional 16 cases, all of which are located in Shepparton. They’ll be counted in Sunday’s totals.
Premier Daniel Andrews says authorities had no choice but to extend the lockdown in Melbourne to the rest of the state.
Regional centres, on the other hand, will be exempt from the Melbourne curfew.
We are so sorry.
The level of demand for our services was so overwhelming and traffic grew so large, reaching as far as the West Gate Bridge, we were advised by the Police that our drive-thru became an issue of public safety and we had to close up early. Stay safe everyone. pic.twitter.com/vYbARqcBU2
— Foodbank Victoria (@FoodbankVic) August 20, 2021
Mr Andrews claimed the threat was not limited to the Goulburn Valley and that the only choice was a countrywide lockdown, which would last until September 2.
He also proposed further restrictions on child care access, including the implementation of a permit system. Access to child care will be limited to vulnerable children and the children of authorised workers.
“This virus has affected a considerable number of young people, including some really young ones. This is a characteristic of these epidemics, a characteristic of Delta, and a characteristic of 2021 “he stated
On Friday, the first case linked to the current outbreak was reported in Regional Victoria, involving a Shepparton man in his 30s who infected 11 other members of his family across two residences.
Foodbank Victoria announced on Friday evening that it had to close its drive-through service due to police orders after an unprecedented number of individuals showed up for food deliveries.
The group apologised to people who used the service in a message posted on Twitter, saying the crowds had been judged a “problem of public safety.”
Over 500 exposure sites have been set up across most of Melbourne and into regional parts of the state as of Saturday, including public housing buildings in Richmond and Carlton over several days.