Six new cases, tougher restrictions not ruled out

By Our Reporter
Bourke Street, Melbourne. Photo by Darren Nunison Unplash

Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlion on Wednesday morning said the next 24 hours is crucial in determining whether tougher Covid measures were needed to contain the Melbourne outbreak.

“I want to be upfront with everyone this morning; I cannot rule out taking some further action. It’s fair to say the next 24 hours are going to be particularly critical in terms of whether we need to make further changes beyond those announced yesterday,” Merlino said.

A pub and a hair salon in country Victoria have been added to a growing list of exposure sites that now include the MCG, a university campus and two Prahran bars, as six more coronavirus cases emerged overnight.

There are 15 active locally acquired Covid-19 cases in the state.

Additional COVIDSafe measures were put in place on Tuesday across Greater Melbourne to help keep Victorians safe.

On the advice of public health experts, from 6pm Tuesday, private gatherings in the home will be limited to five visitors per day, public gatherings will be limited to 30 people and face masks will need to be worn indoors, unless an exemption applies. The face mask requirement applies to everyone aged 12 years and older, an official press release said.

These additional measures are an important extra precaution while we await the results of testing and undertake widespread contact tracing to stamp out the virus.

Schools and workplaces will remain open with the current restrictions that are in place. Depending on the workplace, this includes COVIDSafe measures and in some cases, a density requirement. There are no changes to existing density rules.

Victorians who live in Greater Melbourne and need to travel to regional Victoria can still do so however, the restrictions travel with them.

For example, if you visit someone outside of metropolitan Melbourne, they must not have more than five visitors to their home in that day. If you attend a public gathering outside of Greater Melbourne, it must not be bigger than 30 people, the release said.

Victorians visiting regional Victoria from Melbourne will also need to wear a face mask when indoors even when outside of metropolitan Melbourne, unless an exemption applies.

Keeping our more vulnerable community members safe is always our priority, which is why hospital and aged care visitor restrictions will also now apply state-wide.

Use of the Service Victoria QR code service will still be mandatory in all venues and facilities required to have mandatory electronic record keeping from Friday, 28 May.

However, due to the current circumstances, there will be a pause on the move to remove the density quotient in outdoor spaces and venues to a maximum of 200 people in spaces smaller than 400 sqm. Timing for this easing will be reassessed when public health advice indicates it is appropriate to do so.

The Public Health Advisory Panel will provide advice as soon as possible to upcoming Tier 1 and Tier 2 events if any modifications will be required for the event to proceed.

The government is urging all Victorians to maintain COVIDSafe behaviours to keep the community safe and most importantly, if you are unwell, get tested as soon as possible and stay isolated until you receive a negative result.

All eligible Victorians are also urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Appointments are available at sites across the state and at participating GP clinics, walk ins are also accepted at many sites. Check your eligibility and your nearest site now.

For more information about current COVIDSafe settings, Victoria’s travel permit system and the vaccine program, please visit

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