Victoria is reinstating stage three restrictions on 10 postcodes across Melbourne in a bid to contain the recent rise in new cases of COVID-19 in the city.
From 11.59pm tonight venues in the 10 hotspot suburbs will only be able to open for takeaway services. Those areas are: 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060 and 3064.
The news is a further blow to venues in the area after moves to increase patron limits from 20 to 50 were put on hold last month because of the rise in positive cases.
As well as the impact on venues residents in these areas are also on lockdown and only have four reasons for leaving their homes:
- For work or school
- For care or caregiving
- For daily exercise
- To get food or other essentials.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the lockdown was
“We know that suburban lockdowns, stay-at-home orders are a series of restrictions that work.
“We have all been through that journey, we have all been through that process and we know that at the end of that process we are then able to begin the process of opening up.
“This only works if people comply, this only works if people use common sense and I am confident those communities will do that.”
He also warned that if the lockdown is not adhered to, it could mean a backward step for the whole city.
“This is the public health advice. This is what we must do now. If we do not do this now then I won’t be locking down 10 postcodes, I will be locking down all postcodes,” the Premier said.
Even outside the 10 suburbs, Victoria continues to have some of the strictest restrictions in the country with capacity limits of 20 patrons per enclosed space and no bookings for more than 10 people.
Venues are allowed to open to serve alcohol without a meal as long as patrons are seated.
Victoria’s Department for Health and Human Services says that the restrictions are being enforced through spot checks by Victoria Police and use of emergency powers by Authorised Officers to ensure compliance with the directions of the Deputy Chief Health Officer.
The Department said Victoria Police can issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:
- Refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions
- Refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction
- Refusing or failing to comply with a direction by the Chief Health Officer to provide information.
Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system.