Long lines have formed in one of the major Victorian cities in the region as it closes tonight. But this is good news for residents of another city.
Long lines have formed at test sites as residents of a major Victorian regional center find themselves entering the lockdown after more than a year without a single case.
Starting at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday night, Ballarat residents will face most of the same restrictions as Melbourne residents after a sudden explosion of Covid-19 cases in the area.
The only restriction they won’t face is a controversial night curfew.
The curfew is expected to last until Wednesday, September 22 at 11:59 p.m., but residents are not happy, and Ripon’s Liberal MP Louise Staley described it as a “heartbreaking turn of events for residents and Ballarat business ”.
Ballarat recorded four cases, but with multiple exposure sites and sewage detections in the area, it is feared that the virus has spread.
“The constant in and out of closed closures is neither fair nor sustainable,” Staley said.
The National Plan must continue to be vaccination our highest priority ”.
In Ballarat, there will only be five reasons to leave home, a 5km travel limit will apply for shopping and exercise, and tighter restrictions will apply.
“It has been a great day for Ballarat with the announcement that we are about to return to the lockdown from midnight tonight for at least 7 days,” said Ballarat Mayor Daniel Moloney. “This will be very disappointing news for most, even if few will be surprised after the positive wastewater tests over the past week, and the positive cases announced yesterday and today.”
He urged the community to “stay safe” and get tested.
Shadow Infrastructure Minister Catherine King said it was “frustrating” to return to the lockdown. She said Sky News after “more than 18 months of pandemic we should not be here.”
“But there is nothing we can do to change the past. Staying home and following advice will save lives right here in Ballarat. “
Despite the anger, Professor Sutton said the closure measures would give the city “the best chance of reopening in the shortest time possible.”
“Shepparton has shown us the way: that even the Delta variant can be controlled, even with dozens and dozens of cases,” he said.
When Ballarat closes down, the regional Victorian town of Shepparton will be liberated at one o’clock tonight.
In Shepparton, residents will be free from lockdown but under the same restrictions as the rest of the Victoria region after a lockdown, which on September 1 had a cluster numbering 112 cases, has now been brought under control.
There are currently 61 active cases in the Victoria region, with the vast majority in Shepparton, but already under quarantine.
The rules include the reopening of places with capacity limits.
“This is great news for Shepparton, not so good for the people of Ballarat,” Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said Wednesday.
“If we allow it to escape into one part of the Victoria region, it becomes a threat and a risk to the entire Victoria region. We simply cannot allow that to happen.
“Shepparton shows you that a community can be on lockdown, it can stay together, it can be supported, and it can provide critical control of an outbreak.”
Victoria recorded 423 coronavirus cases and two deaths on Wednesday, with the number of active infections reaching more than 4,000.
Five of those cases were in the Ballarat and Geelong regional areas.