Victoria ‘well placed’ for COVID-19 lockdown to lift this week, Premier Daniel Andrews says
Victoria’s premier says the state is “well-placed” to end its fifth lockdown as planned this week, though some restrictions are likely to remain for some time.
The statewide lockdown was called on July 15 due to an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant, which originated from cases in NSW.
Victoria’s lockdown was meant to end after five days, but was extended for a week until 11.59pm on Tuesday.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday said he was confident the lockdown wouldn’t be extended again, citing the downward trend in the number of people in the community while infectious.
Victoria recorded 11 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Sunday, all of which were linked to known outbreaks and were in quarantine for their entire infectious period.
It brings the total number of active cases to 179 in the state, 17 of which are in hospital including two people in intensive care.
“These numbers are the trend that we wanted to see, these numbers are more than promising, but we just have to wait and see what comes through tomorrow and Tuesday to be certain that we can ease restrictions,” Andrews told reporters.
“I will foreshadow, there will still be rules after midnight Tuesday, it’ll be important that we all follow them.”
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Victorian cabinet ministers and the public health team will meet on Monday to discuss the new set of restrictions, but Mr Andrews flagged masks will remain compulsory for some time.
“Masks are going to be a feature from now until we get the maximum number of people through the vaccination program,” he said.
There are more than 22,000 people self-isolating across the state after being deemed close contacts of positive cases, while there are more than 380 exposure sites.
Andrews expressed his dismay at “selfish” anti-lockdown protesters who gathered in Melbourne on Saturday but said he was reasonably confident it would not become a super-spreader event.