The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has sent a stark warning to residents living outside the state’s “hot zones”, saying if the number of coronavirus cases doesn’t improve he would consider locking down the whole state.
Speaking with 3AW this morning, Mr Andrews said: “If we don’t get control of this really quickly we will end up with … a whole state shutdown.
“This is not over. This is so wildly infectious that even minor breaches of the rules can lead to this random movement of the virus around the community.”
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Today the Premier urged people in the affected suburbs to “follow the rules (and) do the right thing” adding that if people needed support it would be offered to them.
“Ultimately, if I didn’t shut down those postcodes I’d be shutting down all postcodes and I don’t think we want to get to that point,” Mr Andrews said on Wednesday.
Mr Andrews said he and his health team were “ confident that this strategy of lockdown” would be effective in some suburbs as it was in the past, when deployed across the whole community.
Ten postcodes, which cover more than 30 different Victorian suburbs, will go into stage three lockdowns at 11.59pm tonight. They include 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060 and 3064.
The restrictions, which are affecting about 300,000 Victorian residents, will last until July 29.
The walking back into restrictions are the state’s response to 14 straight days of increases in coronavirus cases.
There has also been detection of community transmission of virus cases, which the Premier said is of particular concern.
“That is an unacceptably high number and one that poses a real threat to all of us, not just in those hotspot suburbs,” Mr Andrews said.
Victorians in the locked down suburbs will only be allowed to leave their homes for:
• Shopping for food or other essential items
• To provide care giving, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment
• For exercise (outdoor exercise only, with only one other person or members of your household)
• Work or study, if you cannot work or study from home
Additional restrictions are also being put in place for the locked down areas.