Melbourne lockdown extended for two weeks, night curfew to return

Melbourne lockdown extended for two weeks, night curfew to return

The curfew — a feature of Melbourne’s tough stage four lockdown last year — will be 9pm to 5am and last for two weeks from midnight.

As Melbourne continues its struggle to gain control over the latest Delta-variant COVID outbreak, with concern about mystery cases, illegal gatherings and children spreading the virus, Premier Dan Andrews has announced lockdown will be extended, playgrounds to close, and a night curfew would be re-imposed on Melbourne from 11:59 from midnight on Monday.

This comes as Victoria recorded 22 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, 14 of whom were in quarantine during their infectious period. Contact tracers have linked 17 of the new cases to current outbreaks, with results detected from 29,986 test results processed on Sunday, when 19,880 vaccination doses were delivered at state-run sites.

Melbourne’s Delta outbreak has continued to spread, with several new clusters emerging despite nearly a fortnight of lockdown in Metropolitan Melbourne. The number of exposure sites now exceeds 530.

What you need to know

  • Melbourne’s lockdown has been extended for two weeks until Thursday, September 2.
  • A nighttime curfew will be reimposed on the city
  • The only reason to leave home during those hours is for work, medical care and caregiving.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.

During today’s press conference, Premier Andrews announced Melbourne’s lockdown is be extended by two weeks from Thursday, due to now end on Thursday, September 2. The premier originally announced a seven-day extension for Melbourne last week, with the lockdown expected to lift on 11:59pm on Thursday August 19.

“We see too many cases, we see too many mystery cases. We now have 12 or 13 different chains of transmission. The origins of some are unknown to us. That means that this is spreading in an undetected way across the community,” the Premier said.

“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.

“I will go through the tougher conditions … as part of a strengthened lockdown will be in place until September 2. I don’t enjoy having to make that decision.”

Alongside the extension, the state government has also reimposed the night-time curfew, which was introduced across Melbourne in August last year during the city’s second lockdown, and was in place for almost two months.

From 9pm to 5am, Melburnians will be required to stay home with the only reason to leave home during those hours for work, medical care and caregiving.

“We are strengthening the lockdown as well from 11.59pm tonight. There will be a curfew on advice from the Chief Health Officer from 9:00pm to 5:00am each and every day.”

“That comes into effect from tonight. I am asking people to curfew from 9:00pm. The rules don’t kick in until midnight, but I’m asking people to observe that curfew from 9:00pm tonight.

“From 11.59pm this evening, all of these changes will become effective. The curfew, obviously because it is 9:00pm, we ask people to observe that from 9:00pm, [even though] it doesn’t come into legal effect from midnight tonight. That is the direct advice from the Chief Health Officer.”

Melbourne is still the only Australian city to have been subjected to a curfew.

Workers permits are also set to return, exercise is limited to you and one other person from your household or dependents, and playgrounds and skate parks will also become off-limits.

Also, Melbournians can no longer remove their masks to drink alcohol outside. This comes after a pub crawl was organised over the weekend, with people gathering and drinking takeaway alcoholic beverages in large groups.

The tougher measures come amid concerns about compliance with lockdown restrictions. Daniel Andrews has urged Victorians to comply with lockdown rules so as to not end up like Sydney.

You can view the Premier’s announcement here