The lockdown across Greater Melbourne will be extended and strengthened with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews slamming “selfish” people who have been blatantly breaking public health orders.
It comes after Victoria recorded 22 new cases overnight with five of those yet to be linked to existing cases.
At least eight were out in the community for all or part of their infectious period.
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Premier Andrews says cases are spreading undetected across the community, forcing them to take more action.
“We are at a tipping point. There is simply no option today but to further strengthen this lockdown and to, on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, extend it for a further two weeks.”
Greater Melbourne’s lockdown will now run to September 2 while a curfew will also be introduced between 9pm and 5am each day.
Authorised workers will also need to carry a permit with them at all times.
The Premier expressed his anger and disappointment after photos emerged of hordes of people taking part in a ‘pub crawl’.
Police are investigating after dozens of people congregated in streets and on footpaths outside licensed venues drinking takeaway alcohol.
“That makes you angry, but why am I angry about that? Because it devalues the work that thousands of publicans and restaurant owners, and bar owners, the good work they are doing, diligently following COVID-safe protocols regarding take-away.
“Take away. Not turn around and turn the footpath into a pub. Pubs are shut for a reason.”‘
Footage also emerged of an illegal engagement party attended by dozens of people including a person with COVID, with the hosts mocking lockdown rules by describing the party as a ‘group therapy session.’
“There has been transmission at that event. The only question is whether it will be a super-spreader event. It is already a transmission event. No matter what you are told they are the facts,” Mr Andrews said.
“But what makes me really angry about that event is that each of those 69 people will have to be interviewed. Our contact tracers who are working their guts out for all of us will have to spend literally thousands of hours dealing with hundreds and thousands of people connected to that engagement party.
“That is the work that they must do, but it is all entirely preventable. That is what makes me angry and disappointed.”