Melbourne’s lockdown will ease as planned from tonight but a mask mandate will remain in place.
“I can confirm that the easing of restrictions that we announced yesterday will proceed as planned from 11.59pm tonight, with one small exception for Melbourne,” Acting Premier James Merlino said today.”
Masks will continue to be required to be worn outdoors in all circumstances.”
Victoria recorded four new local cases of coronavirus to midnight.The new locally acquired cases are from the same household in Reservoir, in Melbourne’s north, and investigations into the source of the infections are underway.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said they were not close contacts of known infections.
“They’re not identified as close contacts, none of them has given a history of being at an exposure site,” Professor Cheng said.
“The first man, a man in his 80s, was tested on June 8 and got his result yesterday. The other members of the household tested positive yesterday as well.
“We’ve already tested several close contacts of these cases outside of the household and they’ve all come back negative but obviously will remain in quarantine.”
Professor Cheng said the continued requirement to wear masks outside was based on concern around mystery infection.
“These new cases are really the strongest reminder that we are, by no means, out of the woods yet,” he said.
“Over the last fortnight, there have been very limited opportunities for people to transmit infection during lockdown, and obviously what I am anxious about is whoever gave the infection to both these groups is identified quickly and doesn’t have the opportunity to transmit to other people.”
Mr Merlino said wearing masks outdoors was a small but effective price to pay.”
We are used to it, we know it works, and as we come out of this period and lockdown, while we are driving these new cases to ground, I think it is a logical and common-sense step to take,” he said.
“This is a small price to pay to make sure that we can proceed with this careful easing out of lockdown.”
More than 23,000 people came forward to be tested yesterday.From 11.59pm tonight, Melburnians will be able to exit lockdown, meaning the five reasons to leave home will no longer apply.
Private household gatherings are still prohibited, but public gatherings up to 10 people outdoors will be allowed, hospitality and retail sectors will reopen and students will return to schools.
However, settings deemed high-risk such as gyms, amusement parks, dance studios and nightclubs will remain closed.It comes as interstate health authorities race to prevent coronavirus outbreaks after a COVID-positive woman and her husband drove from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast via New South Wales.
METROPOLITAN MELBOURNE CIRCUIT-BREAKER LOCKDOWN
Restrictions apply to Metropolitan Melbourne from 11:59pm Thursday June 10
The 44-year-old Victorian woman tested positive in the Sunshine Coast yesterday, sparking more than 20 health alerts across regional NSW and south-east Queensland.
Her husband has since also tested positive.
Nearly 30 new COVID-19 exposure sites have been added to Victoria’s list, including multiple days and times for aged care home Arcare Maidstone.
Coles Bundoora Square has been marked as a Tier Two site after a person shopped at the supermarket while potentially infectious.Marco Fine Food & Groceries at Reservoir Central has been listed as a Tier One site requiring anyone who attended at the time to isolate for 14 days and get tested.