By Mitchell Clarke
Cardinia Shire residents can no longer travel more than five kilometres from their primary residences under strict new measures implemented to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Premier Daniel Andrews has declared a State of Disaster from 6pm on Sunday 2 August, as a curfew is implemented across metropolitan Melbourne. From 8pm to 5am every day, the only reason to be out is to get care, give care or to attend or be at work.
There are still only four reasons to leave home: to shop for essential foods, goods and services; caregiving or medical reasons; work or study; and exercise.
New restrictions will mean only one person per household per day can shop at their closest supermarket or a shop within five kilometres from their house.
Exercise will be limited to a maximum of one hour per day and no further than five kilometres from your house.
Group sizes will be limited to a maximum of two – you and one other person – whether you live with them or not. Dependant children are exempt from this restriction.
“Of course, there’ll be some common-sense exceptions. If your closest supermarket is further than five kilometres, you can still shop there. If you’re a parent with little ones, you can still take them with you when you go for a walk,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“And these distance, gathering and time limits won’t apply for work, medical care or compassionate reasons.”
Face coverings will remain compulsory.
The night network will be suspended, and public transport services will be reduced during curfew hours.
The changes will mean Protective Service Officers (PSOs) will be deployed to focus on enforcement efforts.
All Victorian schools will return to remote and flexible learning – across all year levels.
Students currently attending onsite – including senior students and those in specialist schools – will go to school on Monday (3 August), have a pupil free day on Tuesday (4 August), and be learning at home from Wednesday (5 August).
Onsite supervision will be offered but tightened – only available for children whose parents are permitted workers and vulnerable kids who can’t learn from home.
From Thursday 6 August, those same rules will apply to Melbourne’s kinder and early childhood education services.
University and TAFE students must also continue to learn remotely.
Weddings will not be permitted within metropolitan Melbourne from Wednesday 5 August.
The new restrictions will be in place for at least the next six weeks until Sunday 13 September.
From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August, regional Victoria will also return to Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions.
Restaurants and cafes will move to delivery and takeaway only, beauty and personal services will close and community sport will be brought to a halt.
Premier Daniel Andrews said today’s announcement was the hardest decision he’s had to make in more than 2000 days he’s led the state.
“All the temporary sacrifices we make now – all the time missed with mates, those delayed visits to mum – those sacrifices will help keep our mates and our mums and our fellow Victorians safe,” he said.
“The current rate of community transmission – mystery cases that cannot be traced back to work or home – is far too high.
“Based on the current numbers, cases might begin to drop off not in days or weeks – but in months. Months more of lockdown restrictions. Months more of 300, 400, 500 cases a day.
“More Victorians in hospital beds. More Victorians hooked up to machines just to breathe.
“And more Victorians – more grandparents, parents, sons, daughters, partners and loved ones – choked to death by an invisible enemy.
“That’s not something I’m willing to accept. I don’t think it’s something any of us are willing to accept.”
The Premier will make further announcements about workplace restrictions on Monday 3 August.
“Today, I’ve made some announcements that change how Victorians will live – tomorrow, I’ll have more to say about the way Victorians need to work,” he said.
“I know that will cause a certain level of anxiety and uncertainty. But the truth is, this is complex – and we’re going to take some extra time to make sure we get these calls right.”
As of Sunday 2 August, there are 39 active cases in Cardinia and 274 in Casey.