Lockdown in Ballarat to lift on schedule tonight

By Our Reporter
Brett Sutton, Chief health Officer, Victoria. Pic credit @VictorianCHO

On the advice of the Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton the seven-day lockdown in the City of Ballarat will lift at 11:59pm tonight, 22 September, with public health officials increasingly confident that the spread of cases in the city is under control.

In the last week, around 10,000 tests have been processed from testing locations across Ballarat—which is almost one tenth of the city’s population. 18 local cases have been identified, with no new cases today, an official press release said.

Despite the progress, given the fast-moving and unpredictable nature of the virus, locals are asked to stay on guard in case any new cases, concerns and chains of transmission are identified—including between now and when lockdown is scheduled to lift.

With these changes, Ballarat will move to the COVIDSafe settings it was under before the lockdown, with no reasons required to leave the home and no limit on travel throughout regional Victoria.

However, there are still important public health restrictions in place. Masks must still be worn indoors and out. No one can come to your home to visit. And getting tested and vaccinated is just as important as ever.

No travel to metropolitan Melbourne (or another regional Local Government Area currently in lockdown, such as Geelong or the Surf Coast) except for very limited reasons, including authorised work and permitted education, care and compassionate reasons, necessary goods and services and to visit your intimate partner.

Similarly, people from metropolitan Melbourne (or another area in lockdown) can’t come to Ballarat for anything other than the permitted reasons – and businesses are required to check IDs for addresses.

Friends and family can see each other outdoors in a public place in a group of up to 10 people. Religious gatherings and ceremonies are allowed with no more than 20 people—just make sure you check in with the Service Victoria app.

The authorised worker list no longer applies for attending work in Ballarat—but if you can work or study from home, you should continue to do so. Offices can permit staff to attend on site for work, with capacity limits. Childcare and kinder are open, as is outdoor community sports for training. Gyms are open with strict limits.

More information about the COVIDSafe settings the City of Ballarat will move to at 11:59pm 22 September can be found here: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/how-we-live-information-regional-victoria

The Chief Health Officer has also advised that at 11.59pm tonight, those areas of Point Lonsdale located within in the City of Greater Geelong will be able to follow the same rules that apply to the Borough of Queenscliffe.

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