The team of Covid-infected Sydney removalists who sparked Victoria’s latest outbreak has been captured on camera out and about in Melbourne not wearing facemasks.
Shocking footage shows the three workers, who travelled from Sydney’s Covid-ravaged western suburbs, arriving at a home in Craigieburn on the northern outskirts of Melbourne on July 8, where they dropped off furniture.
They can be seen moving items inside their truck and walking around a car park without face coverings.
Two of the three men would later go on to test positive for the highly infectious Indian Delta variant, with the visit sending long-suffering Victorian residents into their fifth lockdown and triggering 107 further infections.
Under work permits allowing people from NSW to go to Victoria for essential work, they must wear face masks.
This graphic outlines the route the Sydney lists took during their work trip, which spark Victoria’s latest outbreak
The first cases linked to Melbourne’s outbreak were a family four the removalists had contact with during the Craigieburn job.
One of them would later go on to transmit the virus to another man at a nearby local Coles supermarket.
Just a few hours after the group were captured on film in the Hume area, they then travelled to Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s west, for another job at the the Ariele Apartment complex.
They all had the appropriate permits to enter the state despite the Harbour City’s spiralling number of Covid cases which as now surpassed 1,500 cases.
Victoria Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said the three removalists were not wearing masks as exemptions are granted for strenuous activities like carrying furniture.
As a result, numerous residents were infected with the virus at Ariele Apartments, sending the entire building and its 200 residents into quarantine for 14 days.
They removalists can be seen moving items inside their truck and walking around a car park without face coverings
Numerous residents were infected with the virus at the Ariele Apartments complex in Maribyrnong, Melbourne’s west (pictured), sending the entire building and its 200 residents into quarantine for 14 days
A resident in his 60s passed on the virus to his parents, aged 89 and 90, who live in Craigieburn.
The same man also attended an AFL game between Carlton and Geelong at the MCG on July 10 with a friend, a Bacchus Marsh Grammar teacher.
The friend, a Barwon Heads man in his 50s also tested positive as did two members of his household, another man in his 60s and a nine-year-old child.
An adult and a child who were sitting in the same section of the MCG as the two men have also tested positive in a case of suspected ‘stranger-to-stranger transmission’.
Several more positive cases linked the MCG transmission chain would soon follow with infections also piling up from the Craigieburn cluster.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the trio will be likely investigated for allegedly withholding information from contact tracers.
Melbourne’s Bourke Street mall is pictured on the first day of the city’s fifth lockdown (pictured)
Two commuters are seen wearing a face mask while on a tram at Swanston Street as the lockdown dragged on
‘The frustration in many respects is not that they perhaps didn’t wear their mask when they were unloading the truck,’ he said.
‘It’s that for quite a while they were very difficult and weren’t being necessarily forthcoming.’
After leaving Victoria, the group later went on to Adelaide’s McLaren vale on July 9, where they received a call from NSW Health one of them had tested positive.
They returned to Sydney where a second removalist also returned a positive result.
All commercial furniture removalists and delivery drivers in Covid ‘red zones’ were banned from entering Victoria for two weeks on July 16, when Victoria announced strict lockdown measures.
Victoria state Premier Dan Andrews (pictured) said the removalists will likely be investigated
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday night shared an alarming map showing how there are now hundreds of residents directly exposed to the virus across the state
Victoria recorded 22 new locally acquired Covid cases on Wednesday, the first day of the extended seven-day lockdown.
It was the highest daily increase in Victoria since September during the state’s deadly second wave of Covid-19 infections, but just six were in the community while infectious.
‘What this means is that our contact tracers and our restrictions are working in tandem to beat this virus,’ Victoria health minister Martin Foley.
‘That should give us confidence that this process is working, and it is working because millions of Victorians are backing it in and doing the right thing.’
The state has 18,000 primary contacts and another 10,000 secondary contacts affected by the current outbreak who have been tracked and traced.
‘If Victoria wasn’t managing those secondary close contacts as tightly as we are now, the advice that we have is that this virus would have gone beyond us already,’ he said. ‘It has not.
‘It’s important, because this variant moves faster than any other variant we have seen.’
Victoria Police officers patrol a shopping centre following an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne
A record total of almost 60,000 tests were carried out in Victoria in the last 24 hours, he said, with 98.8 per cent of results being delivered the same day.
Victoria’s Covid commander Jerome Weimar added: ’22 is a large number. It’s a big number. It might have looked concerning for those who saw the number come up’.
‘But that 16 of 22 fully isolated for their entire infectious period is a really good sign that has changed dramatically in the last couple of days.
‘I expect it to be improving over time. It may even be that within a couple of days we don’t see anyone who’s been out in the community for any of their infectious period.’
Included in the latest 22 cases are five connected to Trinity Grammar School, with one staff member, two students, and two household members testing positive.
Phillip Island is still on high alert after sewage tests again detected a possible unknown infection overnight, and locals have been asked to continue to be tested.
Popular restaurant strip Hardware Lane in Melbourne’s CBD sits empty after the announcement of a seven day lockdown extension
The state government also unveiled an extra rescue package for businesses, especially in the snowfields which have been hit hard by the latest lockdown.
The state government will give an additional $282.5million in business grants after lockdown was extended.
The package includes licensed hospitality grants up to $7200, $25,000 grants for public events and suppliers and $7000 for live performance presenters.
Alpine business operators eligible for previous $15,000 grants will get an additional $3000, community sport organisations who have cancelled events can receive $2000, while small businesses not registered for GST can claim Commonwealth Disaster Payments.
The figures come after a string of new venues were added to Victoria and New South Wales’ growing list of exposure sites, with Covid outbreaks around the country sending more than 13 million into lockdown.
A person is seen jogging around Albert Park Lake in Melbourne on Wednesday during lockdown
Among the venues in Victoria exposed to the virus include a warehouse, a popular Aldi and a busy coffee shop, while in NSW a popular Coffs Harbour pub is also affected.
Mr Andrews has meanwhile shared an alarming map which showed how hundreds of residents across the southern state had already been directly exposed to the virus.
‘This Delta variant is moving faster than anything our public health experts have seen before,’ the state leader wrote in a Facebook post on Monday evening.
‘Ninety-six active cases, around 18,000 people in quarantine, and hundreds of exposure sites from Phillip Island to the Mallee – all in just over a week.’
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VICTORIA’S NEW LOCKDOWN
– The lockdown is scheduled to run from Thursday July 15 at 11:59pm until Tuesday July 20 at 11:59pm.
– There will be only five lawful reasons to leave home
1. Essential shopping
2. Two hours of daily exercise within a 5km radius
3. To seek or provide medical care
4. Work or study that cannot be done from home.
5. To go and get vaccinated.
– Face masks will be mandatory indoors and outdoors
– Schools will return to online learning
– 5km travel limit for essential tasks, including shopping and exercise
– If your business was closed during the last lockdown, they must close this lockdown
– Hospitality open for takeaway only
– General retail is closed, as well as all non-essential businesses
– Visitors to the home are banned
– Funerals capped at ten people, while weddings are banned
– Professional sport can proceed but with no crowds
– Outdoor parks and play areas are open, but those indoors must close