The Delta Strain of COVID 19 has escaped the NSW lockdown with new cases appearing in Melbourne and regional Victoria prompting a snap lockdown for the whole of the state from Frida, July 16 to Tuesday July 20 inclusive. The lockdown may be extended but it may also be eased early in regional Victoria if health authorities determine that it is safe to do so.

The Premier, Daniel Andrews said, “I know and understand that this is not easy. No-one wants to be lockdown. But we had no choice,” he said.

Until midnight Tuesday (July 20), there are only five reasons to leave home: care and caregiving (including medical care and to get a COID-19 test), exercise, authorised work and permitted study, shopping for essentials and to get a COVID-19 vaccination. One person from each household can go shopping each day.

People are restricted to stay within a 5 km limit of their home. Regional Victorians may travel further than 5km to a shop or pharmacy if there are no closer options.

Face masks are required at all times outside the home.

No visitors are allowed in the home. No public gatherings are allowed. Most venues including restaurants, except for takeaway, have to close.

People are allowed away from home within the 5km limit for two hours each day for exercise. People may exercise with others from their own household or with one person from another household.

Schools will close but childcare and kindergartens will stay open.

These restrictions have been introduced to prevent the spread of the virus from the Holiday Inn quarantine facility. There are now 13 Covid cases linked to the outbreak.

Local disruption to community organisations and business is likely to be difficult at such short notice. A number of community organisations, including U3A, the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre have already notified people they are cancelling all activities until Thursday next week.

For local business it means that restaurants will have to close except for takeaway. Accommodation, non essential retail, weddings, community facilities, markets, religious ceremonies, workplaces (apart from essential workers), real estate inspections and events are closed. Funerals can proceed with a maximum of 10 people.