Thursday, May 23, 2024

New quarantine rules for close case contacts

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has extended Victoria’s State of Emergency and State of Disaster by one month as the state records a further 12 COVID-19 cases and one death overnight.

The embattled Premier has also agreed to hand over missing phone records withheld from the recent hotel quarantine inquiry hearing he appeared at.

The extension of the emergency measures will give authorities greater powers until November 8, after the state recorded 12 new coronavirus cases and one death overnight.    

Speaking to media this morning, Mr Andrews faced renewed questions over why his phone records had not been tendered to the inquiry to clear up confusion over who had ultimately made the decision to use private security guards for Victoria’s hotel quarantine scheme. 

Along with the extension, the Premier also announced that close contacts of confirmed cases who refused testing will now spend three weeks in quarantine.

He also said that mandatory quarantine periods would be extended 10 days for close contacts if they chose not to be tested on day 11 of isolation. 

“This is just double checking, triple checking that you haven’t, in fact, still got the virus,” he told reporters on Sunday.

And from midnight tonight, regional hospitality businesses have been ordered to ensure patrons are not from metropolitan Melbourne before serving them.

Currently metro residents are only permitted to travel into regional Victoria for certain reasons.

The move comes after a Melbourne man infected with COVID-19 illegally dined at a Kilmore cafe, sparking a fresh outbreak in regional Victoria. 

In the fortnight up to Saturday metropolitan Melbourne recorded a rolling average of 9.3 new cases per day, with the figure at 0.4 for regional areas. The two-week rolling daily case average needed to drop to five, with less than five mystery cases, for lockdowns in the city to ease in line with regional Victoria.

While announcing the new rules, the Premier also pointed to hope on the horizon for Victorians, saying the five kilometre travel limit and dining at outdoor restaurants were some of the restrictions that could potentially be lifted from next Sunday. 

“I know it is frustrating that I cannot give you a complete list of all the things that we propose to change in one weeks’ time, but that is not the nature of this virus,” he said.

“We will beat this second wave, but we’ve got to do it properly.”

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