Reason for tough new lockdown measures in Melbourne

Health Minister Greg Hunt has warned Victoria faces a “difficult and hard” six weeks ahead.

Speaking from Canberra, he said the harsher lockdown was decided upon after an expert medical panel met earlier on Sunday to consider the epidemiological advice and proposals for action.

“They determined, that sadly, more action was necessary,” Mr Hunt said. “Regrettably necessary.

“We support them with a heavy heart but we do so because they will help save and protect lives in Victoria.”

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage here

Premier Daniel Andrews declared a state of disaster from 6pm Sunday in addition to the state of emergency, saying he had been left with “no alternative” but to impose the harsher restrictions on Melbourne.

“I know these are difficult decisions. This is a very difficult day. These are the decisions I’ve made because these are the ones that will keep Victorians safe,” Mr Andrews said.

Metropolitan Melbourne will start its curfew from 8pm Sunday, but was placed under stage four restrictions two hours earlier at 6pm. The curfew will run from 8pm to 5am every day.

“The only reason to be out of your home between the hours of 8pm and 5am is to get care, to give care, or to go to and from work or be at work. We can no longer have people visiting others. We can no longer have people simply out and about for no good reason whatsoever,” Mr Andrews said.

Supermarket shopping has been limited to one person per household from 6pm and can be no further than five kilometres from home.

Recreational activity has been banned and outdoor exercise limited to one hour each day.

Regional Victoria will move to stage three restrictions meaning residents must stay at home unless leaving their house for one of four reasons – shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study and work, if they can’t do it from home.

The restrictions will apply for six weeks, until at least September 13.

The new rules were announced after the state announced 671 new infections and seven deaths overnight, bringing the state’s total to 11,557 cases.

Mr Andrews admitted today was the hardest day he‘d faced in his six years in the job.

“I’ve had the job of leading this state for almost six years – more than 2000 days. And today is by far the hardest day – and the hardest decision,” he said.

“But it is the decision I’ve made to keep our state safe.”

Based on the new restrictions, Mr Hunt said more mental health support will be offered for Victorians, announcing a $7.3 million investment across the state.

“These measures today are beyond what any of us could ever have imagined our community would face, but they are with us, because we have had an outbreak in Victoria,” he said.

“(We will be) expanding the better access psychological program under Medicare, providing an additional 10 sessions.

“These will be available for anybody who has used their initial 10 services in a lockdown area under a public health order.”

He said the expansion would apply to other areas of Australia if restrictions are introduced there.

Australia has now recorded 17,921 cases and 208 deaths.

More than 400 people are in hospital, 46 in intensive care and 30 on ventilation.

Source link

Leave a comment

Sign Up Now

Become a member of our online community and get tickets to upcoming matches or sports events faster!