- Victoria will come out of a five-day lockdown on Wednesday night after no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases were recorded
- Premier Daniel Andrews has thanked residents across the state for complying with the lockdown rules and for submitting to testing
- The leader has advised masks will remain mandatory in public where social distancing isn’t possible when the lockdown ends
- Restrictions will also be placed on workplace and social venues, while gatherings will also be subject to limits
- 19 cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19, linked to a Melbourne quarantine facility, were recorded over the last week
Victoria’s snap five-day lockdown will end on Wednesday night after no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases were recorded.
Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the good news in a press conference on Wednesday morning, thanking Victorians for their cooperation.
Statement on Victoria’s Circuit Breaker Action and Easing of Restrictions pic.twitter.com/z9TKnaMSlZ— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) February 16, 2021
“Because of the efforts of every Victorian – the sacrifices and the hard slog – we can be confident that slowly, and surely, we are driving the virus into the ground,” he said.
“From 11:59 pm tonight, we will largely return to the previous rules – while keeping a watchful eye on some of the riskier settings,” he added.
Premier Andrews confirmed while the lockdown will end, some restrictions will remain. These include wearing masks in public where social distancing isn’t possible.
It also includes restricting the number of household guests to five in total, while workplaces and social venues will only be allowed to have 50 per cent capacity.
Victoria was plunged into its third lockdown last Friday after more than a dozen cases of the U.K. strain of COVID-10 were recorded locally.
All are linked to the hotel quarantine program at Melbourne Airport’s Holiday Inn, where a returned British couple were isolating while infected.
Commenting on the strain, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it’s been proven to spread rapidly.
“Everyone loves a day of zeros, but the incubation period is 14 days,” Professor Sutton said.
“There are literally thousands of people who have been potentially exposed to infectious cases. They need to see out their quarantine period,” he added.
“There may be people who still haven’t checked the exposure sites, who have been exposed, aren’t aware and may develop symptoms today, tomorrow or the next day,” the CHO stated.
He and the premier are urging any Victorians who develop symptoms in the coming weeks to immediately get tested.