It rips through workplaces, sweeps through aged care settings, cuts through communities – and tragically, takes lives with it as it goes.
Most of today’s cases are in metro areas. But we have seen a significant jump in regional communities. It’s vital we stop this virus further seeping into regional Victoria.
Last week, and based on the latest in scientific study, we announced that face coverings would be mandatory in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
Today, and in line with the advice of the Chief Health Officer, I can announce that same requirement will apply across regional Victoria.
That means from Sunday 2 August at 11:59pm, a face covering will be mandatory whenever you leave home – and wherever you live.
I understand this will a big step for some. But by covering your face, you’re protecting your community, and protecting those extra freedoms your community enjoys.
To date, new cases in regional communities have largely been contained to workplaces. Increasingly though, in some locations, we’re seeing a different kind of spread.
That’s why, from 11:59pm tonight, and in the local government areas of Colac-Otway, Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains, and the Borough of Queenscliffe, you will no longer be able to visit people or have visitors at home.
Understandably, there’ll be plenty of questions about why this and not that. Why you can have dinner together at a restaurant – but not at a mate’s place.
And the simple truth is, the data. The data is telling us that outside work, this is the single greatest cause of transmission in these communities.
It makes sense. These are the kind of places we let our guard down. We relax, we get comfortable and we forget all the rules about keeping safe.
Reflecting today’s numbers, we’ll continue to look at workplaces – how and what and where more can be done to protect workers, their families and their communities.
I understand that many Victorians will be feeling equal parts frustrated, tired and sad. I am too.
As always, I do want to thank every single Victorian who is doing the right thing.
This is one of the biggest challenges our state has faced. And yet, really, we’re all being asked to make the smallest of sacrifices.
Victoria, Coronavirus, Dan Tehan, Child care, Face, Mask
World news – AU – Statement from Premier 30 July