The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called for Victorians to remain vigilant. Stay at home where possible and maintain social distancing, as the state reports 428 new cases overnight.
Of the new cases reported today, 57 are connected to known outbreaks. One is from quarantine, and 370 are under investigation.
Following five diagnoses in regional Victoria, the Premier said they are ramping up testing facilities outside the Melbourne and Mitchell Shire rings.
Ther are currently 160 testing centres across Victoria, 60 in regional areas. Locations such as Shepparton, Bendigo and Mildura, will benefit from new testing sites.
The Premier praised those abiding by quarantine and lockdown rules, saying the measures were helping stop the flow of transmission.
“That ring around Melbourne and Mitchell Shire is working, in terms of reducing the spread of this virus into regional Victoria but it can change,” he said.
“It can change if people do not follow the rules. It can certainly change if people pretend this is over because they really want it to be. That is not the situation we face. That is not the reality that we have to confront.”
The Premier suggested Victorians use their commonsense when it comes to the latest rules and regulations, following news reports of a couple that travelled 200kms to go for ‘daily exercise’.
He suggested bending the rules will not help anybody. If you have to ask yourself if what you are doing is against the rules, chances are it is against the rules.
“Common sense is what really should guide everybody. We saw last night some coverage of a couple of people who had travelled from Coburg to Rye on the Mornington Peninsula. It is a 200-kilometre round trip. That is not daily exercise. That is a day trip and day trips are not on.
“There is nothing about that that is compatible with staying at home. If you want to go for a walk, then you can go for a walk close to home. That makes sense. A day trip is not daily exercise.”
He suggested that people trying to find a way around the rules were contributing to the likelihood that restrictions may increase and lockdown extended.
The Premier also suggested Victorians living outside the lockdown zone should consider wearing a face mask.
“If you are in a taxi or public transport or an Uber or any other setting such as the shops. If you are out and about in regional Victoria and you do not think you can maintain social distancing, then we request that you wear a mask.
“That is a small thing, but it can make a huge difference in stopping the spread of this virus and keeping those numbers in regional Victoria very low.
With over 400 cases overnight, the Premier has not ruled out increasing restrictions. He said data and science would lead the decision.
“It is always difficult to measure what is not happening, but we will look at the data, and we will always be driven by data and science. If we’re not at stabilisation or if we are not seeing a sense of control or a sense of the strategy not delivering the outcome or presenting a trajectory that we want to see. Then, of course, as Brett [CMO Brett Sutton] said, everything is on the table.”
“The likelihood of even more enforcement and the likelihood of additional rules is all in the hands of every Victorian living under these rules, and if we all play a part, then it will be more likely than less likely that we can be passed this sooner.”
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