Australia Restrictions imposed in regional Victoria as new fronts open in Geelong

15:13  30 july  2020
15:13  30 july  2020 Source:   theage.com.au

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Victorians will be able to host up to five visitors in their homes and meet outdoors in groups of 10 from Wednesday, under the state's first relaxation of Mr Andrews said restaurants and cafes would continue to be restricted to takeaway business only, before all restrictions would be reviewed at the

Victoria has recorded two more deaths and a record 484 new cases of coronavirus, Premier Daniel Mr Andrews said that, along with the cumulative impact of the "cautious easing" of restrictions "Hotels, motels, other important accommodation venues — particularly in regional Victoria where we

a group of people walking down the street © Jason South

Greater Geelong has emerged as a new front in Victoria's battle against coronavirus after the region recorded an increase in cases linked to a nursing home and an abattoir.

Premier Daniel Andrews moved all of regional Victoria a step closer to Melbourne-style restrictions on Thursday when he declared masks or face coverings would be mandatory across the state from Monday.

In a further tightening of restrictions, residents of Greater Geelong, Colac Otway, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains and the Borough of Queenscliffe are now banned from having visitors in their homes.

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In recent days, new Victorian infections have climbed higher than when the virus first hit its peak in Victoria is certainly not the only place see outbreaks flare up after lifting restrictions (a number of You can't, say, whip down to the shops in Geelong if you live in Mulgrave. And you can't go for a

Currently, regional Victoria is not under the same restrictions as greater Melbourne with communities still afforded luxuries such as going to the pub or gym. "We're comfortable with the settings that are [ in regional Victoria ] now," the Premier said. "But I do again make the point, these things can change

Those six local government areas in the "Geelong corridor" now accounted for 159 of the 255 active cases in regional Victoria, Mr Andrews said.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to stay open in those areas, and the rest of regional Victoria outside Greater Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

Mr Andrews said it might seem counter-intuitive that "you can go to the pub but you can't go to your mate's place", but transmission was not taking place in cafes and restaurants.

Most transmission was occurring at workplaces, but there were still some "household to household" infections in regional Victoria, he said.

"That makes sense when you think about it. People are not necessarily keeping their distance in their family home," he said. "It's a natural thing. You let your guard down."

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Regional Victorians are calling for the State Government to ease restrictions in areas that have Pub and gym owners in Victoria are disappointed that they won't be able to open up to as many as An easing of restrictions was cancelled at the last minute, even in regions that haven't recorded any

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says the decision to re- impose restrictions is a precautionary measure to prevent a second wave of coronavirus. Mr Andrews said strict lockdowns, including limited travel, like those the whole state faced in recent months, could be imposed in specific local

Active cases in Greater Geelong have reached 63, including 11 residents and one worker at the Opal South Valley aged care home, Barwon Health confirmed. Sixteen of Geelong's cases are related to the Golden Farms chicken abattoir cluster.

Barwon Health infectious disease director Eugene Athan said containing the nursing home outbreak was the bigger challenge of the two clusters.

"We are quite concerned and doing our very best to damp down and contain the outbreak quickly," he said.

Professor Athan said he felt for the residents and their families.

"It's terrifying and people aren't allowed to visit. It's very hard."

The nursing home could not be reached for comment.

The Golden Farms abattoir, owned by Turosi, has been ordered to close for two weeks while its 420 workers self-isolate and get tested.

Turosi chief executive Phil Hand said the company was working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services, Barwon Health and contact-tracing teams.

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Victoria will ban residents in six local government areas from receiving visitors from Friday after the state recorded a new one-day infection record. The premier said venues such as pubs and cafes in Greater Geelong and the other six local government areas could remain open .

Nations across the world have imposed travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Additionally, South Korea has restricted the entry of travelers with passports from China’s Hubei Province as well as anyone who has visited that region in the previous 14 days.

"Our priorities right now are the health and wellbeing of our employees and assisting them at this very difficult time, and preparing for the Geelong plant to reopen in due course," he said.

The United Workers Union, however, called on Golden Farms to provide paid pandemic leave to its workers, who they say had been forced to use leave entitlements while unable to attend work.

Professor Athan said that in the Colac Otway Shire the number of active cases had reached 70.

Government figures indicated 64 cases were linked to the Australian Lamb Company abattoir in Colac.

Professor Athan said many of those infected through the Colac abattoir were recovering well.

Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher supported the introduction of the new restrictions, which allow hospitality businesses, gyms and community facilities to remain open.

"It's obviously not ideal, but I think everyone appreciates the need to contain the spread of the virus," she said.

Meanwhile, Bendigo Health confirmed it had found evidence of community transmission.

Government figures showed there were 18 active cases in Bendigo, compared with 11 the day before.

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As the day unfolded: Victoria stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions reimposed on Melbourne, Mitchell Shire Council Melbourne and some towns in regional Victoria have been ordered back into lockdown for six Front -line staff and some visitors to Melbourne’s largest hospitals will now have to wear surgical

The new figures were driven by clusters in three regions , including in Xinjiang in the north-west, where a sudden outbreak in the regional capital Urumqi caused alarm in mid-July. The other cases were reported in Liaoning and Jilin provinces in the north-east, both of which border North Korea.

A Bendigo Health spokeswoman said new cases emerged on Wednesday in Bendigo and Heathcote that were not linked to the Don KR cluster, which reached 10 this week.

"This is deeply concerning and it is evidence that community transmission is occurring in Bendigo and surrounds," she said.

"It is clear from the contact tracing we have undertaken that people are going out and about in the community after symptoms have begun and this is a problem."

The health service expects cases to rise in the Bendigo area and warned regional Victorians against complacency.

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