Victoria’s statewide lockdown will be extended a further seven days as officials work to trace thousands of contacts linked to 85 active COVID-19 cases in metropolitan and regional areas.

Due to the current level of community transmission of the highly infectious Delta variant in Victoria from the recent New South Wales incursions, the current lockdown restrictions will remain until at least 11.59pm Tuesday July 27, and travel to Victoria using Red Zone Permits will be temporarily paused.

More than 15,000 primary close contacts are currently in quarantine with more than 250 exposure sites online stretching from Phillip Island to the Mallee.

The current outbreak originated from two infected removalists from NSW who travelled to Craigieburn and Maribyrnong while infectious but asymptomatic.

“We cannot put Victoria’s hard-earned gains at risk by letting this Delta variant run free. We want Victoria back
open as soon as possible – and we’ll do everything in our power to get us there safely and quickly,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

There are five reasons to leave home: getting the food and the supplies you need, exercising for up to two hours, care
or caregiving, work or education if you can’t do it from home, or to get vaccinated at the nearest possible location. Shopping and exercise must be done within 5kms of your home or the nearest location.

Face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces, and secondary schools.

Minor changes will be made to the Authorised Premises and Authorised Worker List to include services that operate
solely outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained at all times, pet grooming mobile services and
pamphlet delivery services. Further details can be found at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

from Wednesday 21 July more students with disability will be able to return to on-site learning. Where a parent or carer indicates that a student with a disability cannot learn from home due to vulnerability or family stress, the school must provide on-site learning for that student. This change will apply to students enrolled in specialist schools and students with a disability enrolled in mainstream schools.

The Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton will temporarily pause the issuing of Red Zone Permits from 11:59pm on Tuesday 20 July – pending a further review in a fortnight. For at least the next two weeks, Victorian residents in red zones will require an exemption to enter the state – and these will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

If people enter Victoria from New South Wales without an exemption, they will be put on a return flight or placed
in 14 days mandatory quarantine under the COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) program.

Fines of $5,452 may be imposed if a person is found to have entered Victoria from a red zone without a permit.

“The Delta variant is more infectious and moving faster than we’ve seen in any of our other outbreaks and we will
not take the risk of opening up too soon – this extension of the current restrictions will help us contain this outbreak,” Mr Sutton said.