Lockdown extended

By Jed Lanyon

Victoria’s lockdown restrictions have been extended a further seven days as the state grapples with the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

Deputy Premier Jame Merlino made the announcement on Wednesday 2 June as case numbers rose to 60 with over 350 exposure sites.

“Our teams are working harder than ever to test trace and islate in this outbreak,” he said.

It comes as another record day of testing and vaccinations was achieved, but it seems Melbourne is still a long way from a return to normal as Mr Merlino cautioned the government would “carefully ease restrictions” following the lockdown period.

Minor changes to restrictions were announced. For Melbourne, there will still be only five reasons to leave home: shopping for food and supplies, authorised work and study, care and caregiving, exercise, and getting vaccinated.

People will be able to travel further for exercise and shopping, with an expanded 10km radius.

Kids in Year 11 and 12 will return to face-to-face learning. That includes students in other year levels who are doing a Unit 3/4 VCE or VCAL subject, while that class is being taught.

A number of outdoor jobs will be added to the authorised list – things like landscaping, painting, installing solar panels, or letterboxing. Other restrictions – including mask wearing – will stay the same.

With no community transmission in regional Victoria this week, regional restrictions are proposed to begin easing from 11:59pm tomorrow night. Mr Melrino said the government would use the next 24 hours to continue tracing and testing and confirm that this change can go ahead.

“Even if all goes well we won’t be able to have people travelling from melbourne to regional victoria over the Queens Birthday long weekend, the risk of exposure is just too high,” he said.

Residents form regional Victoria will only be able to travel into Metropolitan Melbourne for permitted reasons and will have to abide by the area’s restrictions.