Melburnians have been issued a stern warning against fleeing the city to stay in their holiday homes as they could be putting coastal communties at risk.
Victoria recorded 218 coronavirus cases on Saturday as the state battles through a second wave of infections.
Premier Daniel Andrews ordered Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in the state’s north back under stage 3 restrictions.
He also strictly specified those with a holiday home in regional or coastal areas are not allowed to relocate to those areas.
An empty Spring Street is seen with a a lone taxi and tram on July 09, 2020 in Melbourne
People are seen wearing face masks while shopping at the Queen Victoria Market on July 11
However, there are fears some Melburnians have already escaped to their holiday homes, which could trigger a spike coronavirus cases in parts of regional and coastal Victoria.
Victorian Senator Sarah Henderson labelled regional areas as a ‘true safe haven’ and urged locals to report any holiday home owners who are not doing the right thing.
‘We can’t afford to see that compromised. I urge local residents living in regional Victoria to report all suspected breaches of restrictions to police,’ she told Herald Sun.
Queenscliff Council, on the Bellarine Peninsula in southern Victoria, informed all Melburnains who have decided to stay in their holiday home that they are subject to the same stay-at-home rules.
People are only allowed to leave their homes for four reasons: work, education, essential shopping and medical attention.
Queenscliff businesses can also refuse service to those whose main address is in Melbourne, a spokesman told the publication.
Bass Coast Council chief executive Ali Wastie has encouraged locals to report Melbourne residents who fail to leave or arrive at their holiday home particularly in Phillip Islands (pictured)
Bass Coast Council chief executive Ali Wastie has encouraged locals to report Melbourne residents who fail to leave or arrive at their holiday home particularly in Phillip Islands.
‘School holidays are ending and it will not be acceptable for people to extend their holidays. We should be seeing a significant drop off in numbers . . . there’s no reason for people to be at their holiday homes,’ she said.
Geelong council, which includes Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove, and the Surfcoast Shire, which includes Torquay, Anglesea and Lorne, and East Gippsland with Lakes Entrance and Mallacoota, have also been informed to report any Melbourne residents.
Police are seen outside the Alfred Street public housing tower which remains under tight lockdown in North Melbourne, Saturday, July 11
There are currently 1,249 active known cases in the state.
Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, in the state’s north, have since gone back into stage 3 lockdown and as the state battles through a second wave.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 9,553
New South Wales: 3,474
Western Australia: 634
South Australia: 443
Australian Capital Territory: 113
Northern Territory: 30
TOTAL CASES: 9,553
CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 1,287
Residents are only allowed to leave their homes for four reasons which include: exercise, work, to buy essential items and for medical attention.
Premier Daniel Andrews reminded all Victorian’s that ‘we’re in this together’ as they work on containing the virus.
‘As inconvenient and as challenging as it is, we cannot deny the reality of the situation we face, and we cannot pretend that doing anything other than following the rules will get us to the other side of this,’ he said.
People in lockdown are also encouraged to wear face masks if the safe 1.5metre distance cannot be maintained.
‘Through an abundance of caution, through the fact it is relatively easy, we should request of all Victorians when they are out of their home, and this relates principally to metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire … it is our request of you (to wear a mask),’ Mr Andrews said on Friday.
‘It’s not compulsory, we are simply asking that if you can wear a mask where you can’t distance, that is exactly what we would like you to do.
‘That’s a relatively small contribution but one that could make a really big difference.’
The state government has already ordered two million reusable masks and one million single use masks for the communities to slow the spread of the deadly virus.