Severity: Critical Alert
Transportation: Authorities to expand stay-at-home orders to Greater Melbourne, Mitchell Shire in Australia from 2359 July 8. Plan for business closures.
- Alert Begins: 07 Jul 2020 11:48 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 31 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, Victoria (map)
- Time Frame: Through at least Aug. 19
- Impact: Movement restrictions, business and flight disruptions, increased security
Victoria authorities plan to expand restrictions in the state to Greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire for six weeks from 2359 July 8 due to rising coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Stay-at-home orders will affect 32 locations in the Melbourne metropolitan area, including Wyndham, Melton, Hume, Whittlesea, Nillumbik Shire, Yarra Ranges Shire, Cardinia Shire, and the Mornington Peninsula, as well as Mitchell Shire. The order will prohibit residents from leaving their homes except for seeking or providing medical care, purchasing essential goods, going to work or school, and exercising. Residents in other areas of Victoria can only travel into affected cities and shires for the same reasons. Home visits are prohibited, and outdoor exercise must be limited to cohabitants or one other person from another household.
Stay-at-home orders are already in effect for the following postcodes in Greater Melbourne:
- 3012: Maidstone, West Footscray, Kingsville, Brooklyn, and Tottenham
- 3021: St Albans, Kealba, Albanvale, and Kings Park
- 3031: Flemington and Kensington
- 3032: Maribyrnong, Ascot Vale, and Travancore
- 3038: Taylors Lakes, Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, and Watergardens
- 3042: Airport West, Niddrie, and Keilor Park
- 3046: Glenroy, Hadfield, and Oak Park
- 3047: Broadmeadows, Dallas, and Jacana
- 3051: North Melbourne
- 3055: Brunswick South, West, Moonee Vale, and Moreland West
- 3060: Fawkner
- 3064: Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park, Mickleham, Kalkallo, and Donnybrook
A strict lockdown also continues at nine apartment blocks in Flemington, Kensington, and North Melbourne, through at least July 9 due to significant COVID-19 activity in these residences. No one can leave or enter the buildings during the lockdown period unless they are residents returning home.
Officials will expand phase three restrictions for businesses to all affected areas. Nonessential companies and venues, such as personal care services, gyms, entertainment venues, and cultural attractions, will close. Restaurants and cafes will remain open but can only offer takeaway and delivery options. State officials have delayed the school term in affected areas until July 20; however, Year 11 and 12 students and those with special needs will attend classes from July 13 as originally planned. Victoria authorities could further expand or intensify measures in the coming days and weeks, especially if new COVID-19 cases or community transmission does not decline significantly.
Victoria Police will further increase their presence to enforce the measure. Officers are likely to increase patrols throughout the affected areas. Authorities plan to randomly stop and question drivers and pedestrians to confirm the reason for their travel. Random checkpoints are possible, especially on routes from other areas of Victoria. Fines are likely.
The federal government has diverted international flights from airports in Melbourne (MEL, AVV) per the Victoria government's request due to concerns over quarantine capacity and effectiveness. Since July 1, officials have rerouted inbound flights to other states, effectively halting international flights into Melbourne through at least July 14. The change could lead to some flight cancellations into the city's international airports as travelers book other routes. Inbound passengers will have to undergo quarantine before traveling to Victoria.
Follow all official instructions. Remain polite and nonconfrontational if questioned by security personnel. Avoid crowded areas as a precaution. Stock up on essential supplies. Confirm business appointments in affected areas. Check the status of flights with airlines if flying into Melbourne in the coming weeks.
Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.