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Victoria Covid outbreak: Everything you need to know about seven-day lockdown 

Victoria will enter a seven-day lockdown at 11.59PM to curb a growing Covid cluster, with residents only allowed to leave home for five reasons.

An outbreak containing the highly infectious Indian strain climbed to 26 cases with 11 new infections overnight – sparking Victoria’s fourth lockdown since the pandemic began in March 2020.

There are now 80 exposure sites across Melbourne and regional Victoria, including the MCG and Marvel Stadium.

Genomic sequencing shows the outbreak is linked to the case of a Wollert man, with an official SA report on Wednesday suggesting he caught the virus from aerosol transmission in an Adelaide quarantine hotel.

But a definitive link between the Wollert man and the Whittlesea outbreak hasn’t been established.

Daily Mail Australia takes a look at what Victorians can and can’t do from midnight tonight. 

A Covid cluster containing the highly infectious Indian strain climbed to 26 cases with 11 new infections overnight – sparking Victoria’s fourth lockdown since the pandemic began in March 2020

Exercise with one other person for a maximum of two hours is also permitted, as well as getting to work or study if doing so from home isn't possible

Exercise with one other person for a maximum of two hours is also permitted, as well as getting to work or study if doing so from home isn’t possible

Five reasons you can leave home:

Victorians will only be able to leave home to shop for food and essential items, provide or receive care.

Exercise with one other person for a maximum of two hours is also permitted, as well as getting to work or study if doing so from home isn’t possible. 

A fifth reason, getting vaccinated, has been added to the list since the state’s last lockdown. 

The five-kilometre radius will also return unless residents need to leave their homes for an emergency or if essential services are not on their radius.

Gatherings:

No visitors are allowed to visit other homes except for with an intimate partner.

‘Single bubbles’ will be permitted for people who live alone, giving them the right to form a bubble with one other person.

No public gatherings will be allowed under stage 3 lockdown restrictions. 

Professional sports events such as the weekend’s AFL games in Melbourne will continue, but without crowds. 

Events: 

In terms of ceremonies, funerals will be permitted with a maximum of 10 people plus those running the service.

Funerals will be permitted with a maximum of 10 people plus those running the service

Funerals will be permitted with a maximum of 10 people plus those running the service

No public gatherings will be allowed under stage 3 lockdown restrictions, which start at midnight

No public gatherings will be allowed under stage 3 lockdown restrictions, which start at midnight 

Weddings have been banned unless in ‘end of life or deportation’ circumstances.

Religious activities will not proceed other than through a broadcast with a maximum of five people.

Exercising:

Victorians are allowed to exercise for a limit of two hours per day, and can only be with one other person.

They must also remain within 5km of their home.

Masks:

Face masks will again be mandatory indoors for everybody over the age of 12, or  because of a health problem. 

‘Masks must be worn everywhere, indoors and outdoors, anywhere other than your home, unless an exemption applies,’ acting Premier James Merlino said.

Face masks will again be mandatory indoors for everybody over the age of 12

Face masks will again be mandatory indoors for everybody over the age of 12

Shopping:

Essential retail outlets, such as supermarkets, food stores, petrol stations, banks, bottle shops and pharmacies, will remain open. 

All non-essential retail will close and can provide click and collect, while cafes and restaurants can only offer take-away. 

The Acting Premier added there is ‘absolutely no reason’ for panic buying of goods.

He acknowledged the cost of the lockdown to businesses and event organisers, adding there would further announcements ‘in coming days’ about what support the state government could provide.

Schools:

Schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children and kids of authorised workers. 

Childcare and kinder will stay open.

There are now 80 exposure sites across Melbourne and regional Victoria, including the MCG and Marvel Stadium.

There were infected people at AFL matches at the weekend, while another visited three bars in Prahran and South Yarra, which is of concern to authorities.

Schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children and kids of authorised workers

Schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children and kids of authorised workers

The 5km travel limit will also be reimposed for exercise and shopping, as will compulsory use of masks both indoors and outdoors

The 5km travel limit will also be reimposed for exercise and shopping, as will compulsory use of masks both indoors and outdoors 

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton strongly defended Victoria’s contact tracing efforts as the outbreak spreads, saying it is an ‘absurd proposition that contact tracing has gone wrong’.

Prof Sutton said in excess of 10,000 primary and secondary contacts have been identified, and warned ‘any one of them’ could become cases over the next 14 days from their exposure.

‘We haven’t seen [a number that large] previously. There’s been opportunities to spread to people. It speaks to the infectiousness of this B161 variant,’ he said.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (right) strongly defended Victoria's contact tracing efforts, while Acting Premier James Merlino (left) said in excess of 10,000 primary and secondary contacts have been identified

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton (right) strongly defended Victoria’s contact tracing efforts, while Acting Premier James Merlino (left) said in excess of 10,000 primary and secondary contacts have been identified

Mr Merlino said the contacts will need to either quarantine, or test and isolate, and warned the ‘number will continue to grow and change’.

‘Unless something changes, this will be increasingly uncontrollable,’ he said.

Gladys Berejiklian said NSW authorities are monitoring Victoria’s outbreak ‘very closely’ amid fears it could have crossed the border after an infected person attended footy and netball games involving a New South Wales team.    

‘I’m worried about the evolving situation and of course we’ll watch closely to see what the Victorian government announces this morning,’ the NSW Premier said on Thursday. 

‘We don’t have any intention of closing the borders at this stage, but of course we are very, very concerned with what’s going on.’

The NSW Government has advised people against travelling to Melbourne and Bendigo and Ms Berejiklian also asked people in Victoria not to rush to NSW.

NEW RESTRICTIONS FOR VICTORIA’S STAGE 3 LOCKDOWN

· No public gatherings.

· Restaurants, pubs, and cafes can provide takeaway only.

· Essential retail, so supermarkets, food stores, petrol stations, banks, bottle shops and pharmacies, other retail stores can provide click and collect.

· Childcare and kinders will be open as per the last circuit breaker lockdown earlier this year.

· Approved professional sporting events will proceed but proceed without crowds.

· Schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children, and children of authorised workers.

· Higher education will move to remote learning only.

· Community support and recreation, accommodation, but there will be some exemptions that apply.

· Hotels, clubs, TABs and the casino will be closed,

· Indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, swimming pools, spas, saunas, indoor and outdoor springs, community venues, drive in cinemas, amusements parks and arcades, creative studios, art galleries and museums, tourism, tours, and transport, and auctions can only happen online.

· Aged care facilities, no visitors except for limited reasons.

· In our hospitals, visitors only for end of life, to support a partner during birth, or a parent accompanying a child.

· In terms of ceremonies, funerals, a maximum of 10 people plus those running the service.

· Weddings cannot proceed unless end of life or deportation reasons apply.

· Religious activities will not proceed other than through broadcast with a maximum of five people.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk