Restrictions tighten

VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews announced a retraction of eased restrictions on Saturday saying Victoria was at a ‘critical crossroad’ after an increase in cases.

There were 11 new cases in Victoria on Monday – 16 were recorded but five were removed due to duplication, according to Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.

As of Monday, there were 125 active cases in Victoria, the highest number of any state in Australia.

Reports by health professionals demonstrate the numbers are largely driven by families gathering and not following the advice around distancing and hygiene.

“Around half of our cases since the end of April have come from transmission inside someone’s home,” Mr Andrews said.

“You can see how this could happen. People feeling relaxed at home, letting their guard down. Letting old habits creep back. But we are still in a pandemic – and people’s lives are still at risk.”

New restrictions came into effect at 11.59pm on Sunday, and will mean people can only have five visitors in their homes.

“Outside the home, families and friends can meet in groups up to 10. As we’ve seen across the world, this virus has the ability to turn a few cases into hundreds in a matter of days,” Mr Andrews said.

Restaurants, pubs, auction halls, libraries, museums and places of worship will continue to open to only 20 people in any one space until July 12.

Businesses returning to operation this week including gyms, cinemas, theatres and TABs were still able to do so, but also with a 20-person limit.

Children’s community sport and non-contact competition for adults is allowed to proceed as planned, and ski season and accommodation will also open with extra safety proceedings in place.

“I know this is not where we wanted to be and that Victorians will feel disappointed and frustrated – I’m frustrated too. But we have to channel that frustration into action,” Mr Andrews said.

“We can’t let this thing get away from us. We must act while we can. That means staying safe while out in the community – but just as importantly, staying safe at home.

“Each of us needs to be aware that the more people you see and the more often you see them – the more danger you are putting people in. There are other things we need to do.”