Warning Victoria could be hit with MORE Covid restrictions as Dan Andrews considers bringing in dreaded rules in the face of the state’s horror Omicron wave
- Covid-19 restrictions could be reintroduced for Victorians amid Omicron surge
- Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said ‘common sense measures’ are being discussed
- Density limits for venues & working from home orders could be reintroduced
- A ban on elective surgery is also being considered as Covid cases soar to 14,020
Victorians could be slugged with a raft of hated Covid restrictions as officials desperately try to slow its surging Covid outbreak, including a return to working from home.
Acting Premier Jacinta Allan revealed some ‘common sense measures’ were being considered on Tuesday as the state recorded 14,020 new cases.
Rules expected to be reintroduced include working from home orders, density limits for pubs, restaurants and cafes as well as a ban on elective surgery.
Amid discussions, the state government has refused to comment on crowd limits ahead of the Australian Open on January 17.
Rules expected to be reintroduced include working from home orders, density limits for pubs, restaurants and cafes as well as a ban on elective surgery (pictured, residents don masks as the stand by St Kilda Beach in Melbourne)
The state recorded 14,020 new cases on Tuesday with infections almost doubling from Monday’s 8,577 infections (pictured, Victorians flock to get tested a PCR testing clinics amid the Omicron outbreak)
WHAT RESTRICTIONS MAY BE REINTRODUCED IN VICTORIA?
– Work-from-home orders
– Density limits in pubs, restaurants and cafes
– Elective surgery slowdown
This comes as cases in Victoria doubled from the 8,577 infections detected on Monday – with the state reporting two deaths among the 14,020 cases on Tuesday.
There are currently 516 people in Victorian hospitals – up from 491 on Monday – with the number of active ICU admissions at 56 patients.
A further 52 patients who are no longer infectious with the virus remain in ICU.
While case numbers soar massive queues stretched across Melbourne for rapid antigen tests, PCR swabs and booster shots.
Four private pathology companies were forced to temporarily shut PCR tests at 54 sites in a bid to ease a backlog of results.
The state’s Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar urged residents to ‘please be patient’ as only three out of 10 PCR results were processed the next day.
However Mr Weimar also revealed one in four people returned positive PCR results – indicating undetected case numbers could be much higher.
Soaring Covid cases could mean a return to some restrictions in Victoria, as long wait times for testing continue (pictured, a queue at the testing centre at Albert Park, Melbourne)
When asked if more restrictions could be on the table, Ms Allan said: ‘We’ll continue to look at if there are any other common sense measures that can be taken.’
‘Those are obviously matters (for the Health Minister) … to consider as we monitor very closely what’s going on in the Victorian community at the moment,’ she said.
Chief health officer Professor Brett Sutton is expected to provide updated health advice as the week unfolds.
The state government is facing renewed calls for a reintroduction of restrictions as it’s estimated around 70 per cent of Victoria’s daily infections are of the Omicron variant while the state also battles the more severe Delta strain.
Melbourne University head of population and global health Nancy Baxter believes the southern state could see 100,000 cases by the end of January if current trends persist.
Acting Premier Jacinta Allan has revealed some ‘common sense measures’ were being considered amid talks of reintroducing Covid-19 restrictions to combat Victoria’s Omicron crisis (pictured, a Bourke Street clinic shuts as people queue outside for PCR testing)
‘We are likely to get to the point – and are already starting to get to the point – where there are tents in front of emergency departments,’ she told the Herald Sun.
Mr Weimar reminded residents there could be a far higher infection rate in the community as the health system struggles to keep up with a demand in testing.
‘We all need to be aware that Omicron is sweeping through our community now in a way that we have not seen in the past two years,’ Mr Weimar said.
‘This is not moving like Delta, this is not moving like Alpha … let alone the original variants we were dealing with 18 months ago.
‘This is a very different beast,’ Mr Weimar said.