Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced hard border closures within the state today as second wave of Coronavirus infections surges with 134 new cases today.
The state’s total infections to date sits at 2942 cases, with 868 cases currently active.
11 of the cases can be traced to contained outbreaks, but the 123 other new cases are still under investigation. 75 of the cases are in the 9 public housing towers locked down in Melbourne’s north.
41 people are hospitalised with the virus in the state and 7 are in intensive care.
The Premier urged the public to cooperate with the new 6 week stay-at-home order.
“This is not the situation that anybody wanted to be in, but it is the reality that we must confront. To do otherwise is to pretend that this isn’t real; to pretend we have other options.”
Premier Andrews announced hard borders between urban and regional areas, saying low and absent community transmission in regional Victoria will enable economic activity to continue in the regions.
Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville urged the public to comply with police, and issued a reminder that police have received new directives that will come into force at midnight.
“Have no doubt, they will be enforcing those new directives.”
Neville doubled down on the Victoria’s record of issuing fines for COVID restriction breaches in numbers that far exceeded other states, saying the fine regime was an “absolutely critical part of making sure that Victorians complied with the directives.”
“It was absolutely, and still remains, necessary for saving people’s lives.”
Police and Defence Force personnel force will be conducting roadblocks for those travelling to regional areas to ensure that only those “with a lawful reason” are travelling to regional areas.
As the new restrictions come into effect today, the ABC reported that 48 people travelling from Melbourne to Sydney were allowed to disembark a Jetstar flight without undergoing health screening.
In a major violation of New South Wales’ coronavirus protocols, the 48 travellers were allowed to disperse without auithroities conducting requisite temperature checks and health questionnaire, and without collecting the traveller’s home address.
According to the ABC, Jetstar said it had “refined” its disembarkation procedures following the incident.
“We assisted by locating passengers in the terminal who had disembarked without being screened and provided the aircraft manifest to the department to assist them in contacting passengers,” a spokesperson said.