Snap lockdown due to end soon

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FRANKSTON residents have been plunged back into lockdown after a cluster of COVID-19 cases broke out from a quarantine hotel in Melbourne.

The five-day statewide lockdown is expected to come to an end at 11.59pm on Wednesday, 17 February.

In response to the growing number of cases linked to hotel quarantine, premier Daniel Andrews announced that the state would move into a snap lockdown effective at 11.59pm on Friday, 12 February. 

There are no COVID-19 exposure sites listed in the Frankston municipality as of 14 February.

The four reasons to leave home that were in place during the state’s extended lockdown in the middle of last year were reinstated. People are only allowed to leave their home to shop for essentials, caregiving, exercise, and work. The five kilometer travel limit was also reinstated.

Masks in public and private places were made mandatory again. Restaurants were restricted to takeaway only, while gyms, pools, community centres, entertainment venues, and libraries shut their doors.

School students were sent home to learn remotely, although childcare and kinder remained open.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the lockdown was implemented to contend with a “hyper-infectious variant” of COVID-19 “moving at hyper-speed”.

“As we’ve seen – here in Australia and around the world – we are facing a new kind of enemy.  A virus that is smarter, and faster, and more infectious,” he said.

“And until we have a vaccine, we need to do everything we can to keep this virus at bay. It’s why on the advice of our public health experts, the whole of Victoria will move to circuit-breaker action (…). This is a short, sharp blast – the same as we’ve seen in Queensland and WA – that will give us what we need to get ahead of this faster moving virus.”

Victoria recorded five new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on the day it was announced the state would move back into lockdown. As of 14 February there are 21 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria.

For the full list of exposure sites visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/case-locations-and-outbreaks-covid-19

First published in the Frankston Times – 16 February 2021

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