Lockdown extended, more restrictions for metro

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

By Mikayla van Loon

Metropolitan Melbourne has received the unwanted news that lockdown will be extended for a further two weeks until 2 September, with more restrictions being added to the already extensive list.

As of 11.59pm on Monday 16 August, a curfew will be placed on metro residents, permits for essential work will be needed once more and parks and exercise equipment will be closed.

From 9pm to 5am each day, a curfew will be enforced, to limit movement and to better enable patrols from police.

Essential workers and students in higher education courses that require onsite training will be able to apply for a permit throughout Monday afternoon and Tuesday, for the restriction to come into effect as at 11.59pm on Tuesday 17 August.

Large construction projects will be reduced to 25 per cent of workers onsite, while smaller projects will be limited to five people.

“These are not decisions that are made lightly. To put a curfew on, you only do that following advice and we’ve got to limit movement,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“To have restricted the number of people who can go to work, well we need more people to work from home because we are getting cases of people who are going to work and they don’t need to be there and they are spreading in workplaces.

“I think the Chief Commissioner will speak about the time for warnings being over and more and more fines just have to be issued and they will be but hopefully not because people will heed these warnings.”

Premier Andrews said exercise needs to be limited to the two people from the one household or two people from separate households and dependents, saying it is not an opportunity for people to catch up with other families and friends.

Parks, recreation spaces and exercise equipment are being closed due to the spread of Covid-19 among young children.

After events that occurred over the weekend, including an engagement party, Premier Andrews said he was angry that the work everyone has been doing was devalued by particular community members who did not follow the rules.

“These settings are tough, this is a tough time. No one is enjoying this lockdown. I know people are weary. I know people are sick and tired of this but each of us have to find it in ourselves to make good choices for these next couple of weeks, to drive down these case numbers and to be in a position so that we can reopen,” Premier Andrews said.

“I don’t want us to finish up like Sydney where it has fundamentally got away from them, they’re not reopening anytime soon, they’re locked in until they pretty much get the whole place vaccinated, that’s going to take months.

“We have the option and we have the opportunity to do things differently but we can’t do it on our own, we need every Victorian to play their part in that.”

Victoria recorded 22 new cases on Monday, 17 linked and 14 were in isolation.