mask covid sydney
The whole of Victoria will be in lockdown as of midnight. Image: Kate Trifo, Unsplash
  • Victoria to enter 5-day snap lockdown after Holiday Inn outbreak grows
  • Mandatory mask-wearing to end in Perth and Peel at 12:01 Sunday morning

5-day circuit breaker to begin tonight

Victorian restrictions, known as ‘circuit breaker action’ – a term originally used by the Singaporean Government when tackling the virus – are similar to the lockdown endured last year.

The announcement comes after the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel outbreak has expanded to 13 cases – five of these were confirmed yesterday. The government believes all cases have the B117 strain, which is better known as the highly contagious UK strain.

As of midnight, restrictions are virtually stay-at-home unless shopping for necessary goods and services, essential work, permitted education, two hours of exercise, compassionate grounds and a few other specific exemptions.

The 5km from primary residence rule will be applicable to exercise and shopping. The list of essential occupations is the same as before during the Stage 4 restrictions.

Additionally, restrictions apply to the whole of Victoria – not just Melbourne.

“By limiting our movement, we limit the potential spread of the virus,” said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

“And by going hard and going early – we’re giving ourselves every opportunity to get in front of this.”

Perth mostly back to normal

In the Perth and Peel regions Western Australia, which had their own five-day snap lockdown last week, many restrictions will be lifted at 00:01 AM Sunday morning.

Most notably the mandatory mask rule will be lifted along with transitional restrictions such as the four-square-metre rule, 150-person capacity limit and 20-person limit for private gatherings.

This means restrictions will be the same as before the lockdown on the 31st January with the only new rule being the near compulsory check-in’s on the SafeWA app.

This was scheduled to happen in mid-February but was brought forward by the Western Australian government as a result of the snap lockdown.

Upon the news of Victoria’s lockdown, Mr McGowan also announced a hard border would be reinstated with Victoria. This will start from 6 pm tonight and will last for 72 hours. Pending no further outbreaks, WA will restart quarantine-free travel with New South Wales this coming Tuesday.

This would mean all states and territories – excluding Victoria – fall under the very low-risk category.

No new cases have been diagnosed for almost 14 days, which Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan says has given him the confidence to return the Perth and Peel regions to “COVID normal”.

“The Chief Health Officer has advised that full 14-day incubation period is on track to run its course with no indication of any community transmission,” said Mr McGowan.

“Based on the latest health advice, from midnight on Saturday night the transitional restrictions will end.

“The wearing of masks will no longer be compulsory as of Sunday morning.”

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