Lockdown again

Suburban lockdown checkpoints operating in the north and western suburbs will become a reality in the south east due to spriralling Covid-19 cases in Melbourne. Picture: JOE MASTROIANNI 210707_01

The entire metropolitan Melbourne – including Cardinia Shire, Casey and Yarra Ranges – will be forced back to stage three restrictions amid an increase in Covid-19 cases.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced late Tuesday afternoon, 7 July, that from 11.59pm on Wednesday 8 July, residents will be placed into a six week lockdown.

The only exemptions to leave your house are to shop for food and essential items, to provide care and caregiving, daily exercise and to work and study – if you can’t from home.

No visitors will be allowed at residences.

Residents can’t leave metropolitan Melbourne for exercise or recreation, such as fishing. Nor can they leave for their holiday homes.

From 9 July, restaurants and cafes will serve takeaways and deliveries only.

Only food and drink stalls may open at markets.

Beauty and personal services will close, as will cultural and entertainment venues.

Community sport will be halted.

Meanwhile, most students – except for Year 11, 12 and special need students – will have school holidays extended for a week from Monday 13 July.

Schools in the meantime will be preparing for a possible return to remote learning for Prep to Year 10 students.

“We’ve talked about this virus being like a public health bushfire. By putting a ring around metropolitan Melbourne, we’re essentially putting in place a perimeter to protect regional Victorians,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“This is not where any of us wanted to be, but we have to face the reality of our situation. To do anything else would have deadly consequences.”

Bass MP Jordan Crugnale said returning to stage three restrictions highlighted that the pandemic was far from over.

“This is really devastating news for Cardinia and Casey and the decision has not been made lightly – it has been based of the health advice of the Chief Health Officer and his team,” she said.

“People have been amazing in getting out to get tested and doing the right thing and now more than ever we cannot slack off here and pretend everything is alright.”

Opposition leader Michael O’Brien said the lockdowns were the “catastrophic consequence of Daniel Andrews’ failure”.

“The spread of the virus isn’t down to bad luck – it is bad decisions by government.

“To all those Victorians who have done the right thing: thank you. You’ve been let down by your government but please don’t stop doing the right thing.”

As of Tuesday 7 July, the Cardinia Shire had zero active Covid-19 cases, Greater Dandenong had three but active infections in Casey had risen to 20.

The total number of positive cases recorded across Cardinia, Greater Dandenong and Casey was 22, 29 and 125, respectively.