Melbourne claims record as most locked down city

4 October 2021

Written by: Jordan Janssen

The city has endured approximately eight months of restrictions across six lockdowns.

Melbourne has officially spent the most days in lockdown, after enduring 245 days, overtaking the previous record held by Buenos Aires of 234 days in lockdown.

By the time Victoria reaches its 70 percent double vaccination target, which the roadmap indicates will be about the 26th of October, Melbourne will have spent more than 260 days in lockdown since the pandemic began.

Australian Industry Group’s chief executive Innes Willox said the record was a “pretty grim” milestone for what has previously been known as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

“It’s the record nobody would want, the record no-one expected,” he said today.

“The Premier’s made it clear he will extend that if he needs to. That’s not very heartening for people as we break a world record.”

Wilcox also said the road to recovery for Melbourne will be tough.

“It’s not going to be a sort of snapback or another V-shaped recovery, particularly in Melbourne,” he said.

“It’s going to take a long time. Melbourne’s lost all of the attributes that made it strong – events, strong culture, the education sector.”

“It is going to take a huge effort to get together and really reimagine Victoria.”

While Melbourne continues to be locked down, the previous record-holder Argentinian capital Buenos Aires is moving in the opposite direction, with plans to loosen strict border controls.

Argentinian Health Minister Carla Vizzotti has said the city is moving toward a full recovery of activities

“We are in a very positive moment, we know that the pandemic has not ended, we have to maintain care,” she said.

Melbourne’s record-breaking lockdown is costing the state economy $700 million a week according to Nine News. There is some debate about what constitutes a “lockdown”. In parts of Italy and Spain, whilst not under a lockdown people were still prohibited from exercising and only one person per household could do the grocery shopping.

According to the Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker,  Australia and New Zealand are in the top 20 for lockdown strictness.

Victoria has gone through six lockdowns since 30 March 2020.

  • Lockdown 1: March 30 to May 12, 2020 — 43 days
  • Lockdown 2: July 8 to October 27, 2020 —111 days
  • Lockdown 3: February 12 – 17, 2021 —5 days
  • Lockdown 4: May 27 – June 10, 2021 — 14 days
  • Lockdown 5: July 15 – 27, 2021 — 12 days
  • Lockdown 6: August 5 – October 26, 2021 — 82 days



Photo: Melbourne in lockdown #1 by Caroline Jones available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.