Victoria records just ONE new Covid case as Melbourne prepares for lockdown to end on Friday with a new set of lenient restrictions – amid explosive claims another hotel quarantine breach is linked to city’s mystery outbreak
- Victoria has recorded X new locally aquired Covid cases on Wednesday
- Melbourne’s extended ‘circuit breaker’ is set to end at 11.59pm on Thursday
- It will be replaced with restrictions similar to those currently in regional Victoria
- Melbourne’s 10km limit on travel from home is likely to be extended to 25km
State health authorities are set to make a final call on ending Melbourne’s lockdown, with a 25-kilometre travel limit possible to keep residents out of the regions.
Barring any new mystery Covid cases, Melbourne’s extended ‘circuit breaker’ is set to end at 11.59pm on Thursday and be replaced with restrictions similar to those currently in regional Victoria.
That would involve a continued ban on private gatherings, venue density limits and mandatory indoor masks in most settings.
The 10km limit on travel from home is likely to be extended to 25km after Acting Premier James Merlino flagged Melbourne residents will be unable to enter regional Victoria over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
‘It remains the public health advice that for a period of time we will have different settings between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne,’ Mr Merlino told reporters on Tuesday.
‘That will extend beyond any announcements that we will make later in the week.
‘There is very good reasons for that. We absolutely want to run this into the ground and ensure that there’s no risk of this spreading out into regional Victoria.’
A final decision on eased restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria is expected to be finalised on Wednesday morning.
It comes as authorities investigate a link between an outbreak of the more infectious Delta strain and a hotel quarantine case, a man in his 40s, who returned from Sri Lanka on May 8.
Genomic sequencing shows his infection is identical to one of two families linked to the North Melbourne Primary School, which has emerged as the epicentre of the West Melbourne outbreak.
How the virus spread between the two groups remains a mystery.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said there were four main theories, with the most likely being the man transmitted the virus to a staff member while in transit or to a fellow guest inside one of the hotels.
It may have then entered the community.
Emma Cassar, the head of COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria, said the man also mistakenly opened his room door soon after entering hotel quarantine but she doesn’t believe the incident is responsible for the virus escaping.
Victoria’s deadly second wave of coronavirus last year was sparked from leaks in hotel quarantine, leading to a major overhaul of the hotel quarantine system.
The state reported two new cases on Tuesday, with one linked to the West Melbourne outbreak and the other the Arcare Maidstone cluster.