Daniel Andrews has broken his holiday silence and warned Victorians COVID-19 was “never just going to go away” as the state scrambles to control its first cluster in more than two months.
The Victorian Premier posted a thread on Twitter on Monday morning, after remaining silent over the festive period as he spent time with his family.
“This isn‘t the start to the New Year anyone wanted. After 60 days of zero cases and a Christmas spent together, Victorians could be forgiven for thinking – hoping – it was all over. But this virus was never going to just go away,” he said.
“As hard as it is, we all have to kick back into gear and get on top of it.”
Mr Andrews pleaded with Victorians returning from NSW to follow instructions from the state’s health department.
“If you have symptoms, however mild, get tested and stay home until you receive your results,” he said.
“If you need support to isolate – whether that‘s financial, food or anything else – call the hotline and we’ll make sure you get it. And if you’re heading out, make sure you have your mask and stick to the restrictions.
“Because every single one of us has a big part to play in ensuring we beat this cluster.
“Victorians have worked too hard, and sacrificed too much to get here. And we can‘t ever risk giving all of that up.”
Minister for Transport Jacinta Allan has stepped in as the acting Premier, while Daniel Andrews has been away.
Victoria saw a sudden spike in community transmission due to a cluster in Black Rock on Thursday.
It followed 61 consecutive days of no locally acquired cases.
Victoria recorded three new cases on Sunday – all linked to the Black Rock outbreak – which has grown to 21 infections.
Health officials have now isolated more than 2700 close contacts with the number of positive tests in the next few days crucial in revealing whether the outbreak has been controlled.