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Victoria heads into lockdown

7-day circuit breaker begins tonight

Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino has announced a fresh set of COVID-19 restrictions this morning, which come into affect at midnight tonight, after 11 new cases were recorded in the state.

The new lockdown will span across seven days and will resemble Melbourne’s previous snap lockdown in February.

The restrictions come after Melbourne experienced a spike in new infections, raising the state’s tally to 26.

New restrictions include a five km radius for shopping and exercise, as well as the return of the original four reasons to leave home as well as the addition of a fifth.

These include shopping for necessary goods, authorized work and education, a two hour exercise limit with one other person, caregiving, compassionate and medical reasons, and the added exception, to get vaccinated.

Masks are also required everywhere other than the home.

Merlino said the cases are all linked to the “hotel quarantine breach” in South Australia, in reference to a Wollert man who contracted the highly infectious Indian strain of virus while in hotel quarantine in the state.

There are currently more than 150 exposure sites across Victoria; this number is expected to grow in the coming days.

Testing sites are increasing their capacity to accommodate for the influx of people wanting to get tested.

There were more than 40,000 test results received in the past 24 hours, making it one of the highest testing days since July last year.

Vaccination centres are also experiencing record demand, which is highly encouraged by the state government.

“The best thing we can do is get vaccinated,” Merlino said.

The state government has extended the eligibility for vaccination eligibility, allowing people 40-49 years of age to get vaccinated.

Merlino stressed the importance of getting vaccinated, saying the current situation may be different if there were more jabs administered.

“If we had the vaccine…we may well not be here today,” he said.

Photo: Globe with facemask by Marco Verch available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.

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