Melbourne Residents Will Be Able To Visit An 'Intimate Partner' When Lockdown Resumes
An outbreak of coronavirus cases in parts of Melbourne has resulted in the metropolitan and Mitchell Shire areas being placed back into lockdown at midnight tonight (July 8).
The Stay At Home Orders will last for six weeks and affected residents will only be able to leave their home for a specific set of reasons: work/education, care or compassionate reasons, exercise, grocery shopping and essential visits like a doctor's appointment.
While it's going to suck to go back into lockdown for a month and a half, there will be an exception to the rules that will be appealing to many.
The Department of Health and Human Services' already has guidelines for people in some of the hotspot suburbs that have been in lockdown for more than a week. While those rules are subject to change every day, at the moment they currently state that you'll be able to visit an intimate partner during the Stay At Home Orders.
Under the compassionate reasons clause, it states that you will be able to visit a person with whom you are in an intimate personal relationship with.
The news will be music to couples' ears who might have been worried they won't be able to see their significant other for another six weeks if they didn't already live with each other.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews revealed yesterday that the state had recorded its highest single-day rise in new coronavirus cases, with 191 people testing positive.
Because this was such a rise in numbers and because new cases had been recorded for more than two weeks every single day, health authorities had no choice but to put the metro area back into Stage 3 lockdown.
Premier Andrews said during a press conference: "Essentially all the local government areas and Mitchell Shire which I regret to say, unlike the rest of regional Victoria, there are an unsustainably a number of high number of cases in Mitchell Shire.
"All of those metropolitan government areas, plus Mitchell Shire, will be the subject of the stay-at-home order from midnight tomorrow night. Those four reasons which are well known, they will extend to each and every person across the metropolitan area.
"That is to say much like the settings that apply to those 12 lockdown postcodes, we have seen more positive cases in those postcodes and we have also seen leakage out of those postcodes and infections in other parts of Melbourne and then when you add all those together and get an aggregate picture, we're on the cusp of something very, very bad if we don't take these steps today.
"There's a couple of differences to the stay-at home order this time as compared to last time. You will be able to go out to go to work if you have to, to go shopping for the things you need when you need them, to study, to provide care or to get care.
"Daily exercise will be treated differently. You can't leave metropolitan Melbourne to get your daily exercise. There's a number, on the advice of the chief health officer, of very low public health risk activities that will be permitted that were not permitted last time but in the most important point to make around exercise is that you can't be going on a four-hour bush walk hundreds of kilometres away from Melbourne.
"I hope very soon to be able to be before you again talking about further easing of restrictions in regional Victoria. That's not for today. I do hope that is quite soon. And we'll only be able to achieve that if we continue to contain within metropolitan Melbourne and not see large outbreaks or additional cases in regional Victoria."