AS Victoria records 10 new cases of coronavirus linked to removalists who travelled to the state from Sydney, and a family who recently returned from New South Wales, the state is on the brink of going into another snap lockdown but, for now, more restrictions have been introduced, including new caps on home visits, but we are not being put into lockdown.
Masks must be worn in all workplaces and retail stores and secondary schools and must also be worn outdoors when you cannot remain socially distanced from those who are not from your household.
To bolster the border closure with NSW an additional 60 VicPol police have been deployed to the ongoing COVID Operation Sentinel, increasing the total number dedicated police officers patrolling the border zones to 350.
In Mildura, an operation on the Chaffey Bridge continues, with cars being checked randomly as they are flagged into a side street just before the San Mateo Avenue roundabout.
The border bubble is in operation allowing NSW residents who reside within that radius to be able to travel back and forth to Mildura.
Police located in border communities throughout the state are conducting high-visibility roving border patrols, traffic management points, vehicle intercepts and spot checks, including at major transport hubs.
Daily patrols are continuing from the sky with the air wing monitoring the Hume Highway from Kilmore to Wodonga with fixed air wing aircraft flying the length of the border each day from Mildura to Mallacoota.
Victoria Police operations response to the coronavirus outbreak in New South Wales is definitely “agile and flexible” as they continue to act access and re-access our logistical and personnel requirements.
As of last Saturday, police conducted more than 25,000 permit checks with a compliance rate of just under 99 per cent.
Police said that the majority of the Victorian community are doing the right thing, however there is always going to be a minority who think they can flout the rules and VicPol’s message to those people is… don’t even think about it!
If you live in the NSW cross-border area, you can enter Victoria without a permit but you must travel with proof of address and conditions apply.
However, you cannot enter if you have been to a red zone outside of the cross-border area, or if you have COVID-19, any symptoms, or have been defined as a close contact by a state health authority.
If you are entering Victoria as a NSW cross-border community resident, authorities ask you to stay within the Victorian cross-border area at all times. If you are entering New South Wales as a Victorian cross-border community resident, stay within the NSW cross-border area. If you travel beyond this area, a red zone permit will be required for re-entry into Victoria.
Victoria has 10 new cases of coronavirus which are related to family members who recently returned from Sydney on a red zone permit.
Two of the cases found in the family were announced on Tuesday and another family member in the household has since returned a positive test result.
The family of four had been undertaking 14 days of quarantine inside their home in the City of Hume.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Melbourne apartment residents have plunged into lockdown after some Sydney removalists infected with COVID-19 visited the complex.
Residents inside Ariele Apartments in Maribyrnong have been confined to their homes for 14 days after the apartment block was classed as Tier One and Tier Two exposure sites.
The removalists spent hours collecting furniture, travelling up and down the stairs and using the facilities at the complex.
Member for Mildura, Ali Cupper said that Victoria’s latest border breach of a positive COVID-19 cases is a timely reminder that we need to stay vigilant.
On the local front, businesses have approached Ms Cupper’s office fearing that our community is flouting QR-code and face mask requirements.
“I’m hearing stories of staff being abused by patrons for asking them whether they’ve checked in, or where their mask is,” Ms Cupper said.
“I understand the situation is prolonged and frustrating, but we must avoid taking it out on each other.
“We must all be considerate of each other, and the roles we have to play to keep businesses open.
“Wearing masks indoors and scanning QR-codes everywhere you go is a simple, pain-free contribution to keep our community safe,” she said.