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Australia Covid: Victoria records four new cases ahead of end of lockdown

Victoria records four new Covid cases overnight as the state prepares to come out of lockdown on Freedom Friday

  • The new cases are from the same household and investigations are underway
  • Melbourne’s extended ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown will end at 11.59pm Thursday 
  • Restrictions will also ease further for regional Victoria from Friday
  • A Covid-positive woman and her husband left Melbourne while in lockdown

Victoria has recorded four new locally acquired Covid cases a day before the state is set to come out of lockdown.

The four new cases are from the same household and investigations into the source are underway.

On Wednesday, the state government announced Melbourne’s extended ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown will end at 11.59pm on Thursday, meaning people will be free to leave home for any reason.

But Melburnians will need to remain within 25km of their homes, unless working or studying, care giving or getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Acting Premier James Merlino said the measure was in place to keep Melbourne residents out of regional areas over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

On Wednesday, the state government announced Melbourne’s extended ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown will end at 11.59pm on Thursday, meaning people will be free to leave home for any reason

Restrictions will also ease further for regional Victoria from Friday. 

Meanwhile Victorian health authorities held an emergency meeting with their Queensland and NSW counterparts over a woman’s positive case.

The woman and her husband left Melbourne while the city was in lockdown and tested positive at the end of the road trip through NSW and into Queensland.

Separately, three people were caught flying into New Zealand last week, having also left Melbourne during lockdown and trying to enter the country via Sydney.

The trio, understood to be a family who planned to attend a funeral, are now in quarantine after they were caught on arrival in Auckland.

While those three travellers have tested negative so far, the woman’s positive test on Wednesday has put regional centres in NSW and Queensland on alert.

Victoria’s health department said an emergency meeting of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee was held on Wednesday night.

It also raised the prospect of Victorian exposure sites related to the woman’s case.

‘Any critical information will be provided to the public as soon as possible when case interviews for any potential Victorian exposure sites can commence,’ the health department said.

The woman and her husband left an unidentified suburb on the edge of greater Melbourne on June 1, while the Victorian capital was in lockdown to control community transmission of the virus.

They then travelled through regional Victoria, crossed the border into NSW where they visited regional centres, and then entered Queensland on June 5 – two days after she started showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has said it was possible the woman was infectious from the day she left Melbourne.

The four new locally-acquired cases are from the same household and investigations into acquisition source are underway

The four new locally-acquired cases are from the same household and investigations into acquisition source are underway

Melburnians will need to remain within 25km of their homes, unless working or studying, care giving or getting a COVID-19 vaccine

Melburnians will need to remain within 25km of their homes, unless working or studying, care giving or getting a COVID-19 vaccine

Also on Wednesday night, the health department said COVID-19 viral fragments had been detected in a wastewater sample taken from a sewer sub-catchment near Bendigo.

The sub-catchment services the country town’s north-west suburbs and residents, plus visitors from June 3-7, are being urged to get tested if they develop symptoms.

The northern states’ scare and news of the Auckland incident came as Melbourne had confirmation its two-week lockdown was on the verge of ending.

On Wednesday, the state government announced Melbourne’s extended ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown will cease at 11.59pm on Thursday, meaning people will be free to leave home for any reason.

But Melburnians will need to remain within 25km of their homes, unless working or studying, care giving or getting a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Acting Premier James Merlino said the measure was in place to keep Melbourne residents out of regional areas over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Restrictions will also ease further for regional Victoria from Friday.

Victoria reported just one new local case on Wednesday and it is a linked infection. There were three new cases in hotel quarantine.

NEW RULES FOR MELBOURNE AND VICTORIA FROM FRIDAY 00.01

Melbourne

What you can do:

Travel 25km from your house

Have an outdoor gathering with up to 10 people 

Go to school for face-to-face learning

Not wear masks indoors 

Go to a funeral with maximum 50 people and weddings at 10

Go to restaurants and cafes to reopen, with a maximum 100 people outside and 50 people inside 

Go to retail shops, with a one person per four square metre density limit 

Get your hair done with a mask on 

Play community sport with 50 people outdoors 

What you can’t do 

Have a party, stand at bars, go to a nightclub or concert

Have any guests round to your house 

Go to the gym

Travel further than 25km from your home unless in exceptional circumstances 

Regional Victoria – already subject to the above rules, but with extra easing

Visit another home, with a cap of two adults per household 

Gather in pubic with up to 20 people 

Go to a restaurant or cafes with up to 150 people seated outdoors or 75 indoors

Attend a religious ceremony, with a cap of 150 people outdoors or 75 indoors

Attend a funerals with a cap of 75 and weddings with a maximum of 20

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk