A sign written in English, Russian, French and German warns travellers they are entering a locked down Melbourne COVID-19 hotspot – in a chilling echo of World War II’s Checkpoint Charlie.
The tongue-in-cheek sign was attached to a telegraph pole at Barkly Street in West Footscray – one of several suburbs that have been issued with stay at home orders as Victoria’s coronavirus crisis deepens.
‘Warning,’ the sign reads. ‘Checkpoint Barkly. You are leaving the COVID free sector’.
A sign written in English, Russian, French and German warns travellers they are entering a COVID-19 hotspot in Melbourne in a chilling echo of Checkpoint Charlie
Police officers speak to drivers at an Ascot Vale roadblock (pictured) – one of several suburbs placed into lockdown
The sign translates the warning into several different languages and in a clear reference to Checkpoint Charlie, the famous crossing point in the Berlin Wall that divided the Soviet Socialist East and American Capitalist West Germany between 1961 and 1989.
There, a sign was also written in English, Russian, French and German and it was erected at the checkpoint and warned people crossing into East Germany they were ‘leaving the American sector’.
Victoria was the only state on Friday to record new coronavirus cases, with 66 new instances of coronavirus compared to 77 the day before.
West Footscray is just one of dozens of suburbs issued with stay-at-home orders as several COVID-19 hotspots were identified across Melbourne.
Upset residents have taken to Twitter to voice their frustration.
‘Not thrilled that we have to lockdown again in West Footscray,’ one person tweeted.
‘Really feel for local restaurants and cafes who have been edging toward some sense of normality. 2020, nothing personal but thus far you’ve been a bit of a dud.’
Another person tweeted: ‘Footscray was spared, WestFootscray was not, and at 11.59pm on Wednesday night an invisible line went up down the centre of the suburban road.’
Victoria was the only state on Friday to record new coronavirus cases, with 66 new instances of coronavirus compared to 77 the day before (pictured, police officers at an Ascot Vale roadblock)
Upset residents have taken to Twitter to voice their frustration of the lockdown
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said the state was doing the right thing by testing, tracing and isolating.
Dr Kidd says Victoria’s case numbers aren’t rising substantially despite the high volume of tests being conducted, in a hopeful sign.
‘The figures are showing some signs of stabilisation but it is too early to confirm,’ he told reporters in Canberra.
‘We hope they have, given the level of testing and contact tracing under way but we need to follow up for a few more days.’
Professor Kidd is concerned people are refusing coronavirus tests, with more than 10,000 people in Victoria declining one.
The state’s health minister Jenny Mikakos says some people are refusing tests because they believe the virus is a conspiracy theory or that it won’t impact them.
A driver is tested for coronavirus at a mobile testing clinic in Melbourne
Drivers queue to be tested for coronavirus at a Melbourne pop-up testing clinic
Senior cabinet minister Simon Birmingham vowed to put partisan politics aside to work with the Victorian Labor government on squashing the disease.
‘We have a situation in Victoria that is threatening the economic recovery that is so important for all of us,’ he told Sky News.
Victoria’s government is under pressure after serious breaches were alleged in hotel quarantine and a coronavirus-infected man left his two-week stint without being tested.
NSW recorded no new cases on Friday after eight on Thursday, including a supermarket worker who tested positive after spending two weeks in Melbourne hotel quarantine.
Visitors to the ACT from Melbourne hot spots will be forced to self-isolate for 14 days or return home immediately.
South Australia is maintaining its border restrictions with NSW, the ACT and Victoria, as health authorities closely monitor the situation in Melbourne.
A police officer ushers a driver into an Ascot Vale roadblock
A driver is directed into an Ascot Vale roadblock as authorities ramp up coronavirus checks in Melbourne
List of Melbourne suburbs that have been issued with stay-at-home orders
Several Melbourne suburbs have been issued with stay-at-home orders as Victoria continues to grapple with the coronavirus outbreak.
Below is a list of the suburbs currently in lockdown by postcode:
3021: Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
3012: Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray
3064: Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo
3032: Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
3047: Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
3046: Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
3038: Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
3042: Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
3055: Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West