The pandemic has truly struck back with a Sith-like vengeance down in Victoria, with the state today recording a truly fucked 191 new COVID-19 cases, which marks VIC’s highest ever tally of new infections in a single 24-hour period.
As a result, not only will the entire state be effectively vacuum-sealed off from the rest of Australia from midnight tonight when NSW closes its border for the first time in over 100 years, VIC’s Premier Daniel Andrews has also announced that the entire Melbourne metro area will be thrust back into stage 3 lockdown for the next six weeks.
For those who’ve already forgotten what stage 3 looks like, it means you can only leave the house for four specific reasons: shopping for food and essential items, medical attention and care-giving, work and study (if it can’t be done from home) and daily exercise (but you have to keep it local — travelling hours for hikes, fishing trips and anything else non-essential is strictly forbidden).
It also means gyms, beauty salons, pubs, clubs, restaurants, entertainment venues and all the other non-essential businesses that have only just opened back up will be forced to shut back down again, along with community sport. While indoor gatherings are once again banned, meaning no house guests allowed.
The tough restrictions will come back into effect from 11:59pm tomorrow (that’s Wednesday, 8th July), and will bring the entire city into line with its 12 “hot spot” postcodes, which reverted back into lockdown mode late last week.
“I don’t take this step lightly. And I know just how deeply frustrating this is for everyone,” Premier Dan said today.
“But I’m asking you, please talk to your families. Talk to your friends. Talk to your neighbours. Talk to your communities. This isn’t over. And until there is a vaccine or a drug or a cure, there is no such thing as ‘normal.’”
The lockdown applies to the entire Melbourne Metropolitan area, as well as Mitchell Shire north of the city, and will last until August 19th at the very least.
We’re all rooting for ya, Melbs.
Not to rub salt into the wounds, but it comes after live music venues recently re-opened in Queensland, and life in other Aussie states continues to edge back towards pre-pandemic normality. Let’s make sure it stays that way!