Melbourne must record community case-free days before lockdown ends

“Victoria is due to arrive at (…) two to three days of zero cases of COVID positive people in the community for any part of their infectious period,” Professor Blakely said.

The Prime Minister is on the same page. “We need to limit ourselves to a very small number of cases, if any, that have been in the community during their infectious period,” Mr Andrews said. “That’s when we’ll have the best chance to open up and stay open.”

Monash University’s epidemiology team leader James Trauer said Victoria’s swift return to lockdown last week showed the government had not properly handled the latter’s release.

Associate Professor Trauer said a more gradual exit from this lockdown should include the suspension of non-essential retail and possibly the “high-risk” hospitality sector, “although I know how ‘hospitality hurts’.

“We may have to go a few more days with our lockdown than seems necessary to give us a guarantee that the virus is cleared,” he said.

Burnet Institute infectious disease expert Suman Majumdar said health officials would not target any mysterious new cases, high test rates and positive sewer tests in areas where the virus is not known.

Victorian authorities are urging anyone with symptoms to get tested. Credit:Wayne taylor

“Perhaps the most disturbing element is the unknown initiation,” he said.. “Making those connections will be the key. “

Regional businesses said ending the lockdown would offer a crucial economic lifeline, but stressed that many operators, especially tourism operators, were relying on Melbourne customers.

Andrews has warned Melburnians against rushing in the Victoria area with police monitoring the roads in the absence of the steel ring that fenced townspeople last year.

“Don’t break the rules,” he said. “Don’t try to reach Regional Victoria unless you are eligible and eligible for it.”

Seven of Monday’s 11 cases are linked to the Caroline Springs Square shopping center, with health officials now urging anyone who was there between July 27 and August 5 to come forward, get tested and self-isolate until that they receive a negative result.

There are two cases related to Newport Football Club, a young child from a family in Newport and a student at Al-Taqwa College.

Inverloch Esplanade Hotel owner Dylan Clark has welcomed the end of the lockdown, saying the 100 guest capacity limit for the Victoria area would allow his business to remain viable.

But he said the company is waiting for the return of the Melburnians, who constitute a large part of its customers.

The number of visitors to alpine resorts has been better this year than in 2020, when the ski season was all but wiped out by the pandemic.

The number of visitors to alpine resorts has been better this year than in 2020, when the ski season was all but wiped out by the pandemic.Credit:Getty

The absence of the steel ring would also put more pressure on staff and some customers would feel like they were being questioned, he said.

“This means that now we have to be really strict about checking IDs when people visit our site,” he said. “This is extra work for which our staff are not paid.

Greater Geelong City Mayor Stephanie Asher said while the lifting of the lockdown was good news for the Victoria region, many businesses were counting on visits from Melbourne.

Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said the Victoria region should never have been included in the lockdown, and suggested that the Mornington Peninsula, parts of the Yarra Valley such as Warburton and the suburbs Southeastern satellites such as Bunyip, should be considered as part of the regions.

“There are too many children out of school who could go back if the government just listened to them,” he said. “Have compassion for these kids… have compassion for the small businesses that just want to be able to open safely.”

Alpine resorts are bracing for an influx of visitors with the demand for a negative COVID result within 72 hours of arrival now removed.


A spokeswoman for Falls Creek Resort Management said the number of visitors this year was much better than in 2020, when the ski season was all but over.

“We are already getting phone calls with regional Victorians who are organizing to come back,” she said.

Lamaro’s Hotel in South Melbourne was fined $ 10,000 on Monday for exceeding the COVID lockdown deadline at 8 p.m. last Thursday.

Pub owner former AFL player Paul Dimattina said a few friends were at the hotel having drinks with him and consoling him over another lockdown.

And a Melbourne man has been accused of assaulting a police officer while pushing him during an anti-lockdown protest last week.

Adam Richards, 48, of Southbank, appeared by video link in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday afternoon.

With Michael Fowler, Paul Sakkal, Simone Fox Koob and Cassandra Morgan

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