For political reasons, I think no-one will be using the words, but Victoria has opted for virus elimination rather than suppression, slamming the state shut for six weeks. Premier Dan Andrews says the current setting are not working, they might work if they were continued for six months, but they might not.
Victoria has declared a State of disaster, which allows greater police powers, about which more tomorrow, which will last for the next six weeks.
Victorians will no longer be able to leave home and go any further than a 5 kilometre radius
And the Victorian Premier adds: “You will not be able to at any point [go] more than 5km from your home for the purposes of shopping for what you need.”
So, that means:
- Only one person will be able to go shopping, once per day
- Recreational acivity is no longer allowed
- Victorians will have one hour of exercise, no further from their homes
And there will no longer be able to be groups any bigger than two “regardless of whether they’re from your family or someone else”
However, the Premier says there will be exemptions for children who are being cared for and who can’t be left at home.
“Ultimately, all of these changes are about limiting movement,” he said.
“All of those changes are about limiting the number of people we come into contact with. Daily exercise is just that. It’s an opportunity to get some exercise. It’s not an opportunity to live our lives as if this pandemic was not real and not here.”
More restrictions on workplaces will be announced tomorrow.
‘State of disaster’ declared from 6:00pm tonight
Police will have extra powers.
This will be in addition to the state of emergency already in effect.
“The current rules have avoided thousands and thousands of cases each day and then thousands of people in hospital and many more tragedies than we have seen.
“But it is not working fast enough.
“And there’s a number of different reasons for that.
“But after a lot of hard work and detailed analysis, our public health experts, as well as them speaking with their federal counterparts and I’m sure interstate colleagues as well, they have provided advice to me that says if we were to pursue this strategy with a view to driving down numbers to a very low containable level where we could reopen, it would likely be the end of the year before we were able to reopen.
“That’s a 6-month strategy that is simply not going to work. Therefore we have to do more and do more right now.”
What prompted this can be brought down to three main factors.
First, yesterday there were 671 cases following 397 the day before, to give the second highest number after a record four days ago. The graph was simply not turning down.
Secondly, there were too many mystery cases coming up, and the contact tracing system was simply being overwhelmed.
Third, too many people were wilfully breaking the rules.
There are issues how the state got into this state, including Federal government lack of strategy to deal with a foreseeable tragedy in aged care, but more of that another day.
Andrews has been talking to his federal mate about pandemic leave and extra impact on the Victorian economy.
People working sick is not always at the initiative of the worker. Some employers are telling people to show up, or else, which can mean losing their job.