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  • A number of suburbs in Melbourne will be locked down amid a big spike in COVID-19 cases
  • 64 new cases were recorded in Victoria in the last 24 hours
  • The lockdown will see stage three restrictions enforced in the hotspot suburbs in the state
  • The measures will come into effect late on Wednesday, July 1, and restrict residents from leaving their homes
  • Exemptions will be offered for those attending work or school, completing daily exercise or essential shopping
  • Victoria’s Premier also announced a review of hotel quarantines in the state, after some staff were found to have breached requirements
  • Daniel Andrew’s also requested international flights be diverted from Melbourne for the next two weeks
  • Queensland and South Australia have shut their borders to Victoria

More than a dozen Melbourne suburbs will be forced back into lockdown as Victoria continues to grapple with a surge in new COVID-19 cases.

64 cases of the coronavirus have been recorded in the state in the last 24 hours. There were 75 new cases yesterday, and 90 recorded across the weekend.

In a bid to contain the spike, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced hot-spot suburbs will be placed back in stage three lockdown conditions.

Stay home

This means residents in the affected suburbs will be required to stay at home, unless they have an exemption.

Exemptions are available for those attending work or school, completing essential-shopping or daily exercise, or those needing care or who are care-givers.

The lockdown comes in force from 11.59 pm AEST on Wednesday, July 1, and is expected to last for four weeks.

The residents affected include anyone living in the postcodes listed below.

  • 3012 (Brooklyn, Kingville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray)
  • 3021 (Alban Vale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans)
  • 3032 (Ascot Vale, High Point City, Maribyrnong, Travancore)
  • 3038 (Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens)
  • 3042 (Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
  • 3046 (Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park)
  • 3047 (Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana)
  • 3055 (Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West)
  • 3060 (Fawkner)
  • 3064 (Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo)

The Premier also wouldn’t rule out adding more suburbs to the list, if clusters of infections are identified.

Additional support needed

Premier Andrews also revealed today that extra support was being brought in to help with the state’s testing blitz.

800 personnel will be deployed to help relieve staff at testing sites, engage community members about testing, and perform actual tests.

However, the ADF would not be used to enforce lockdowns.

Instead, the Premier said he was confident Victoria Police would be able to handle enforcing the new stay-at-home orders.

“They will be there in booze bus-type arrangements on major corridors in and out of these postcodes, and if people make a judgement that they can ignore the rules and there is a low chance of getting caught, that would be a very unwise judgement to make,” he warned.

Fines will be handed out by police to anyone caught entering or exiting the hot-spot suburbs without a valid exemption.

Flights diverted

Meanwhile, international flights landing in Melbourne will be diverted, the Premier has confirmed.

Instead, other states and territories will handle the flights, whose passengers require hotel quarantine, for the next two weeks.

Premier Andrews said his state needed a break.

“We are essentially saying we will not take any further hotel quarantine persons for the period of two weeks and that’s a function of both the announcements I have made today following the genomic testing,” he said.

“I want all of our energies focused on dealing with the spike in cases and the lockdown,” he added.

The announcement comes after Victorian hotel quarantine staff were caught breaching protocol, and allowing COVID-19 to spread in the community.

Genomic testing shows a number of cases in early June and late May originated from hotel staff, breaching quarantine protocol.

The State Government has described the situation as a failure and disappointment.

COVID-19 borders

Victoria wasn’t the only state to record new COVID-19 cases today. WA recorded two new cases, while NSW recorded five.

South Australia also announced this morning it would push back its planned border opening, due to the spike in Victoria.

Meanwhile, Queensland today announced it would open its borders this month to every state and territory except Victoria.

WA’s borders remain shut, as does Tasmania’s.

Meanwhile, the Northern Territory will open its borders later this month, Victoria, NSW and the ACT never shut its interstate borders.

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