Thu. May 26th, 2022

Residents of a regional Victorian border town are waking up to a new seven-day lockdown to contain a growing coronavirus outbreak.

Meanwhile, people in two other cities will start their weekend in relative freedom after the restrictions were eased overnight.

As Victoria’s case numbers continue to rise, the state health chief announced several changes to restrictions in regional Victoria on Friday afternoon.

Brett Sutton stated that residents of Mildura Rural City Council would be thrown into a seven-day lockdown at midnight Friday, giving locals just over six hours notice.

There are now 12 active COVID-19 cases in the area, with health officials hoping the lockout will prevent the outbreak from escalating.

Aerial view of Mildura.
Aerial view of Mildura. Credit: John White photos/Getty Images

Mildura will be subject to the same rules of repatriation as Melbourne, excluding curfews, with a travel restriction of 15 kilometers and a ban on visitors to people’s homes.

Regional restrictions

It happens when Greater Shepparton and Moorabool Shire left their lockdowns at. 23:59 Friday, with rules now matching the rest of the regional Victoria, including masks indoors and outdoors, and a ban on home meetings.

Professor Sutton paid tribute to the locals for helping bring case numbers down.

“I really thank everyone in the community for staying safe, staying apart and doing the right thing,” he said.

Victorian health director Brett Sutton.
Victorian health director Brett Sutton. Credit: James Ross/AAP

A small fine-tuning of the mask rules also took effect at midnight Friday, when adults could now remove their face mask to consume alcohol while outdoors.

Sutton believes Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak is nearing its peak, after another record-breaking day of case numbers – 1838 infections were reported Friday and five deaths.

The health chief said rising vaccination levels ensured that the number of people admitted to hospital or admitted to intensive care did not grow as fast as the daily number of cases.

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