BREAKING: Victoria records two new local COVID-19 cases

The Victorian Government has confirmed there’s been two new COVID-19 cases detected in the community today.

It’s understood the new cases were picked up after the state’s midnight cut-off, hence why they were not included in this morning’s numbers.

Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed the new cases are two adult males who live in separate apartments at the Southbank Townhouse complex, where transmission of the virus has previously taken place.

As a result, both residents were identified as close primary contacts of an existing case and have fortunately been in isolation.

Their infections were confirmed today after the health unit conducted a major testing blitz on residents in the apartment complex.

“Yesterday, we had over 200 people tested over at that particular pop-up centre,” Minister Foley said.

“We’ve started to get those results this morning… I can confirm that we have been notified of two further positive cases inside that building amongst people that we have identified as primary close contacts through those testing actions yesterday”.

The Southbank apartment cluster now stands at six.

Victoria records one new case, Premier announces return to work

There has been just one new local coronavirus infection recorded in Victoria overnight, as the Premier confirms his return to work.

Authorities report that the one case is a primary close contact of an earlier infection, and had been quarantining throughout the entire coronavirus period.

There are currently 68 active infections throughout the whole state, including those recorded in hotel quarantine.

It comes as Premier Daniel Andrews confirms he will be returning to work before the end of the month.

He’s been given the all-clear from his doctors after falling down the stairs and suffering a serious spinal injury almost four months ago.

It’s been over 110 days since he was in the role, with Acting Premier James Merlino filling in for him.

Premier Andrews posted a video to Facebook confirming that he will be back at work on June 28.

“This week I had another round of scans and a meeting with my care team at the Alfred and got some good news,” the Premier said.

“The broken vertebra has almost fully healed and they’re letting me take off the back brace that I’ve had to wear for the last three months.

“The six broken ribs will take a while longer to finish healing and doctors tell me that between the ribs and getting used to not having the brace on, the next couple of weeks will be a painful adjustment.

“But overall, I’m feeling good and I’ve been given the all-clear to return to work on Monday 28 June. I’m looking forward to it.”

I want to share some good news with you.My vertebra has almost fully healed and my ribs are well on track. The team taking care of me has given me the all clear to get back to work soon. To Cath, the kids and the doctors, nurses, ambos and physios who've taken care of me – I can't thank you enough. While I've been recovering the state has been in great hands. I am so grateful to James Merlino for stepping in to lead the Government and the state — he's done an amazing job. On Monday 28 June I'll be back to work – and back to getting things done. I can't wait.

Posted by Dan Andrews on Saturday, June 12, 2021

No new local cases for Victoria for the first time in weeks

Great news for Victoria as Melbourne begins easing lockdown restrictions, with no new local coronavirus cases diagnosed overnight.

It comes after two weeks of lockdown from the Greater Melbourne area, and harsh restrictions for the whole of the state as well.

This is the first 24 hour period for about three weeks where there’s been a ‘zero’ day, which is affectionately referred to as a ‘doughnut day’ for the state.

Victorian authorities are set to provide more information about the situation in Greater Melbourne today after a whole family tested positive within the last testing period.

While Melbournians are slowly returning to school and work today after their lockdown eased from midnight.

Their 5km travel radius has grown to 25 km now, while the ‘five reasons to leave home’ rule has been taken off.

It’s hoped the city could follow regional Victoria in their further easing of restrictions in a week from now.

BREAKING: Melbourne’s lockdown to end, but restrictions remain

Melbournians will emerge from lockdown as planned from midnight tomorrow, but some restrictions will remain in place as the state continues to try and get the upper hand on their latest COVID-19 outbreak.

After two weeks of being housebound, the five essential reasons to leave home will officially be scrapped for Melbourne residents from 11.59pm Thursday.

However, a 25-kilometre travel limit from home has been brought in, to prevent people from travelling over the upcoming Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

“That means the only reasons to go further than 25km will be for work, education, caregiving or getting a vaccination,” Acting Premier James Merlino said at the state’s much anticipated press conference on Wednesday.

“Travel into regional Victoria still remains a no-go for now.”

As part of the eased restrictions, outdoor gatherings in the Melbourne region will be allowed to go ahead with up to 10 people, while hospitality venues can reopen for seated service only with a maximum of 50 people indoors.

Children can also head back to school for face-to-face learning, funerals will be allowed with 50 mourners and weddings have been given the green light with a cap of 10 people, however home gatherings are still off-limits, along with nightclubs, gyms and amusement parks.

When it comes to face masks, they will no longer be required outdoors when social distancing is maintained.

There’s also some more good news for those in regional Victoria, with Mr Merlino confirming residents can welcome two adult visitors into their homes from Friday, along with dependants.

Public gatherings there have also been increased, with restaurants and cafes also given more freedoms to host additional customers.

It comes after the state recorded one new COVID-19 case today, a person linked to an existing cluster who had fortunately been isolating for their infectious period.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton acknowledged that it had been an “awfully painful period” and thanked everyone for all of their sacrifices.

“I have always had in mind that we need to do what is required to make sure that we get back down to zero,” Professor Sutton said.

“There is really no alternative. Our national strategy of aggressive suppression is there for a reason.”

There are now 83 COVID-19 cases that remain active across the whole state.

Two new cases in Victoria, as opposition accused of peddling ‘QAnon craziness’

Great news for Victoria on the coronavirus front this morning, with just two new local coronavirus infections recorded.

Authorities have also confirmed with this morning’s numbers update that both the new infections are linked to the current outbreaks.

It comes after 22,000 people came forward for testing, while over 21,000 people were vaccinated there over the last 24 hours.

Authorities will provide more information about the infections in a press conference later this morning.

Concerningly for Victoria, the state opposition is now demanding answers over the absence of Premier Daniel Andrews.

Andrews has been away from the role for around three months after he severely injured his back earlier this year.

Conspiracies have been circulating over what exactly happened, which now appears to have been fueled by the opposition.

They’re demanding to know where Dan Andrews was injured, whether or not the ambulance was called or dispatched, and whether or not police are investigating it.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has called for an immediate apology.

“I don’t think Dan Andrews drove the sub that took Harold Holt to China, he didn’t organize a fake moon landing … This is nonsense. We know it’s nonsense.

“It’s QAnon craziness peddled around the community to create an atmosphere of uncertainty,” Mr Pallas said.