Melbourne lockdown extended for another week after cluster grows to 60

The virus strain is more contagious than seen in 2020

Melbourne lockdown extended for another week after cluster grows to 60

Melbourne will remain under lockdown for another seven days, the state government has confirmed.

Providing an update today, Victoria’s acting state premier James Merlino said it is a more contagious strain of the virus seen in Australia. There are now 60 cases associated with the outbreak and the list of hotspot areas continues to grow.

The limitations were due to be lifted tomorrow but have been extended for another week, meaning there is still only five reasons for residents to leave their home. The radius for exercise and shopping has been extended to 10km. Students in year 11 and 12 will return to face-to-face learning.

The government has also confirmed that even if the restrictions are eased next week, residents will not be able to travel to regional Victoria over the Queen’s birthday long weekend, in a bid to prevent the outbreak from spreading outside of Melbourne.

Businesses in the city will be left reeling from the decision, having endured four lockdowns since the pandemic began.

Merlino said it is not the news Melbourne wanted to hear today but the government is striving to prevent a situation similar to last year’s winter outbreak.

He confirmed that businesses affected by the lockdown will receive extra financial support, on top of the package announced earlier this week.

"The Government is adding a further $209 million, this is on top of the $250 million package that the Treasurer and I announced on Sunday, and that will include $181 million to increase the business cost assistance program, increase those grants from 2,500 to 5,000 in total,” he said.

The Victorian government has also requested a JobKeeker-style financial assistance program from the Federal government.

The restrictions in regional Australia have been eased, but residents will only be permitted to travel to Melbourne with a valid reason.

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