By Laura Michell
Eight suburbs in Hume and Whittlesea will be subject to local lockdowns for four next weeks.
Premier Daniel Andrews this afternoon announced that stage three stay at home orders will apply in 10 postcodes including 3047 and 3064 from 11.59pm tomorrow. The restrictions will be in place until July 29.
The affected suburbs locally are: Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana, Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo.
The other postcodes covered by the stay at home orders are 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3055 and 3060.
Under the local lockdowns, there will only be four reasons for people living in the affected postcodes to leave their home: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study or work
Mr Andrews said the return of stage three restrictions was necessary because there was “unacceptably high” levels of community transmission.
“We know close personal contact has been the source of the spread. That’s why we need local residents to do the right thing: assume you may be infectious – and act accordingly,” he said.
“And regular police patrols, both in these zones and outside them, will make sure people are abiding by the restrictions.”
Mr Andrews revealed there have been 233 new COVID-19 cases since the testing blitz began in 10 hotspot suburbs last Thursday.
He said Broadmeadows, Fawkner and Albanvale recorded the highest number of new cases.
Mr Andrews also revealed that 928 people in Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs refused to be tested.
People in the restricted postcodes will be able to gather and exercise outside in groups of two or with members of their own family only, while cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs will return to a takeaway-only service.
Community sport, beauty care, gyms, swimming pools, cinemas, theatres, TABs in pubs, play centres, golf courses and fishing spots will be closed.
“We know this will have a very real impact on local businesses trading in these communities,” Mr Andrews said.
“We’ll help them get through this with an initial $5000 in dedicated support for businesses previously eligible for a Business Support Fund grant or a payroll tax refund.
“My message to everyone in restricted postcodes is this: I know this will be terribly disruptive and difficult but if everyone sticks to the rules and we see transmission come down, then in four weeks the restrictions can lift.”