The Victorian government is seeking a 12-month extension on its state of emergency

The Victorian government is seeking a 12-month extension on its state of emergency

Melbourne lockdown continues
Words by Kate Streader

The current state of emergency is due to expire on Sunday September 13.

Premier Dan Andrews has announced that his government will seek permission from Parliament to extend Victoria’s state of emergency by a further 12 months. The current laws limit a state of emergency to a maximum consecutive period of six months, which will be reached in Victoria on Sunday September 13.

“That is the legal instrument that allows, for instance, rules about face masks, rules about COVIDSafe work plans in large workplaces and small. That’s the legal instrument that, for instance, sits behind density limits in pubs and restaurants and cafes or things like a positive person, a person who’s got this virus, being required to isolate at home,” explained Andrews during a press conference today.

“We simply can’t have those important rules and the legal framework that sits behind them, we can’t have that end on the 13th of September because this virus won’t have ended by the 13th of next month,” he said.

The amendments to Victoria’s Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 are expected to be introduced on September 1 to allow the state government to continue to enforce public health protections for another 12 months.

“That means, regardless of when restrictions may ease, some of the current protections under the state of emergency – including mandatory face coverings and requiring workplaces to have a COVIDSafe Plan – will remain necessary,” Andrews further explained in a press release.

The Victorian government will also be publishing data related to active case numbers, deaths, outbreaks, hospitalizations and more daily to provide local communities with more information.

The site will list ‘high risk locations’ in which there has been a known exposure period so that anyone who has been present at those locations within the relevant timeframes can watch for symptoms and get tested, if necessary.

For more information, visit the Department of Health and Human Services website

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