Restrictions could stay for 12 more months

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the restrictions associated with Victoria's state of emergency will be extended and could be in place for the next 12 months.

Victoria's state of emergency is due to end of September 13 but Mr Andrews said the state cannot afford to have the restrictions that go along with the state emergency end.

"That is the legal instrument that allows rules about face masks, about COVID safe work plans in workplaces large and small, that is the legal instrument that sits behind density limits in pubs and cafes and restaurants. Things like a positive person, someone who has got this virus, and required to isolate at home," he said.

"Before September 13 (we) will extend the state of emergency provisions within the public health and well-being act for a maximum of a 12 months. So that means it will be a total of 18 months. The six months we have already been through plus a further 12 months."

Mr Andrews said it could be that the rules are not needed for the next 12 months but the change will be put in place to ensure they can be kept for that period of time if necessary.

Victoria would be 'entering third wave' without rules

Victorians have been praised for following the state's tough lockdown rules, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying if people ignored the current rules then the state would be "entering a third wave" of the virus.

"It wasn't that long ago that we had more than 700 cases on a given day. This is a very difficult day for those 15 families that I have just alluded to, it is a very difficult day for many other Victorians out of work, who have a sense of uncertainty, and indeed a fatigue, but if we don't see this through, if we don't stay the course, then all of that sacrifice, all of that pain and loss, will be for nothing," he said during Monday's press conference.

"Because we won't have defeated the second wave, we would be entering a third wave. And that is not something we want to do.

"It is working, it is having a big difference. It is having a real impact. And I'm proud and grateful to every single Victorian who is playing their part in delivering a successful strategy."

Mr Andrews said the state was on the verge of getting the daily virus cases into double digits and urged people not to let lockdown fatigue get the better of them.

"Can I thank every single Victorian who through making that profound contribution, the right choices, knowing and accepting that we are all in this together, knowing and accepting that while we will love it to end tomorrow, it won't end tomorrow, we have to stay the course, don't let frustration get the better of us, the only thing that wins if we let that happen is this wicked virus," he said.

"We can't let that happen. We have to see this through."

Mandatory masks will be in place 'for a while'

Victorians could be living under mandatory mask rules well into the Summer, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying the rules will likely be in place "for a while".

"If I'd just take you back, before masks became mandatory the general advice and request that we were making of Victorians when you are out and about for a lawful purpose and you feel, you are not confident you will be able to maintain that 1.5 metre distance, please wear a mask," Mr Andrews said.

"I think that the notion of mandatory mask wearing, at least in those circumstances, think that will be with us for a while. And, yes, that will be challenging when it comes to the hot weather."

The premier warned there will be challenges as the pandemic continues.

"As many of us look ahead, to the end of the year and the warmer weather. I think we would be more than happy of the biggest challenge we face in a few months' time would be the fact that it is a bit hot to wear a mask when it is 35 degrees," he said.

Restrictions would be extended even without second wave

Premier Daniel Andrews has said the current restrictions in Victoria would need to be extended even if the state didn't experience a second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Mr Andrews said the decision to ask parliament to allow the restrictions to be extended was about public health and "protecting everyone".

"They will need to be in place after the September 13. I wish that wasn't the case," he said.

"Even if there had not been a second wave these rules would still need to be in place. Because there is not a jurisdiction in the world that is going to just be going back to absolute normal, where there are no limits on restaurants, no limits in cafes, no masks at all, no need to isolate if you've actually got this.

"All of those very commonsense provisions they need when you're beyond the 13 September. The law doesn't quite provide for that. We want to make a change."

Mr Andrews said if there isn't a vaccine in 12 months time then the restrictions may have to be extended again.

"We would be in a similar position to now where we would have to go back to the Parliament. No-one is asking for an unlimited five years, 10 years, run forever. 12 months we think is appropriate. That is to say it is foreseeable," he said.

"I hope we are wrong in predicting this will still need rules in 12 months. Hopefully we have got a vaccine by then.

"But even then, the vaccine will take time to develop, manufacture, administer, and the efficacy of the vaccine, what is the life-cycle of that, does it protect you for three months, six months, here, forever, the whole notion of boosters, those sorts of things.

"So this is nothing more or less than a logical extension in time, changing the law of the state to ensure it is equal to the challenge of state faces."

Restrictions could be in place for 12 more months

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the restrictions associated with Victoria's state of emergency will be extended and could be in place for the next 12 months.

Victoria's state of emergency is due to end of September 13 but Mr Andrews said the state cannot afford to have the restrictions that go along with the state emergency end.

"That is the legal instrument that allows rules about face masks, about COVID safe work plans in workplaces large and small, that is the legal instrument that sits behind density limits in pubs and cafes and restaurants. Things like a positive person, someone who has got this virus, and required to isolate at home," he said.

Mr Andrews said the change will be put to parliament to "extend the state of emergency provisions within the public health and well-being act for a maximum of a 12 months".

"So that means it will be a total of 18 months. The six months we have already been through plus a further 12 months."

Mr Andrews said it could be that the rules are not needed for the next 12 months but the change will be put in place to ensure they can be kept for that period of time if necessary.

"We have to assume that that vaccine won't be here and that there will be some rules like how many people can go to a restaurant, wearing facemasks, COVID safe work plans in workplaces, and the need for people, if you have got this, to be at home away from other people," the premier said.

"Those sorts of rules are all a product of the state of emergency and the provisions within the public health and well-being act need to be

changed to reflect the fact that while we would all love this to be over by the 13 September, which is when the act says the state of emergency must end, that is just not going to be the case.

"We are going to have this with us for a considerably longer period than that."

More information on Victorian deaths and cases

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has provided more information on the state's recent 15 COVID-19 deaths.

The fatalities include three women and five men in their 80s, four women and two men in their 90s and one woman in her 100s.

All 15 of the deaths are linked to outbreaks in aged care.

Since January 1 there have been 3743 COVID-19 cases linked to aged care, with 1568 of those currently active.

There are currently 4028 coronavirus cases with no known source, which is an increase of 100 since the last update.


Returned traveller claims there wasn't enough food

A returned traveller who was put into hotel quarantine in Victoria has told an inquiry into the bungled program that he wasn't given enough food.

Kaan Ofli was put into quarantine at the Pan Pacific hotel on April 9.

He told the inquiry on Monday that he had to call the Department of Health and Human Services three times a day to ask for more food.

On day 10, Mr Ofli and his wife realised the hotel only had record of one person staying in the room, which is why they weren't being given sufficient food.

"The whole 10 days, I wasn't actually in the system," Mr Ofli said.

This then led to the realisation that the meals he had been receiving were not Halal, which he had indicated was a dietary requirement at the start of the 14 day quarantine period.

Mr Olfi said he was "really disappointed" by the situation.

Couple fined at Melbourne farmers' market

A couple have been fined for breaching Melbourne's stage four lockdown rules by attending a farmers' market together.

The organisers of Gleadell St Market in Richmond sent out a reminder to visitors to make sure only one member of each household attends the market.

"This week unfortunately a few of our customers were caught out and were fined by the police," the organisers wrote in a Facebook post.

"Police presence will continue to remain high on the agenda due to some publicity over the markets operations in the last few weeks.

"It was heart breaking to see people being fined."

The organisers said one couple who were fined "had honestly forgotten" about the one person per household rule.

"You may think you're not being monitored but police are watching your behaviour and your every move from a distance," the organisers said.

"Please stay safe and don't take the risk, no apple or pear is worth more than $0.50 each."

Victoria reported 208 new coronavirus cases on Sunday and 17 deaths. Of the deaths, 11 were linked to aged care.

One new COVID-19 case in Queensland

Queensland has recorded one new COVID-19 case in the past 24 hours.

The new case is a relative of the woman who worked at the Wacol youth detention centre, which is now linked to multiple coronavirus cases.

The new case has been self-isolating.

Queensland's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jeannette Young, said the risk of the virus spreading within households is high.

"We have seen with this cluster, we now have five workers at the centre and five of their relatives have already been infected," she said.

"We know that spread within households is what you always will see at the start of an - of a new cluster which is why we put in place that requirement to limit gatherings to 10.

"It is really important that within households, within private gatherings, maximum of 10 people because it's that closeness that we know will lead to spread of the virus."

Victoria records 116 cases and 15 deaths

Victoria has recorded 116 new COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths in the past 24 hours.

"Our thoughts are with everyone during this difficult time," the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

This is the lowest daily number of cases Victoria has recorded in seven weeks, since the state recorded 67 cases on July 5.

This is a drop in numbers from yesterday's virus figures, with 208 new cases and 17 deaths reported on Sunday.

'Situation is dramatic': Hospitals struggling with outbreak

A Melbourne doctor has once again called for more personal protective equipment to be made available to healthcare workers, saying the situation is "quite dramatic".

Two weeks ago, Dr Mukesh Haikerwal expressed his concerns over the number of healthcare workers being infected with COVID-19 and claimed some staff members had to rely on charity for face masks.

Dr Haikerwal spoke to Nine's Today show on Monday, saying he is still seeing the same problems in medical settings.

"Unfortunately, we're still having to push and push hard to see any sort of change. We are hoping to see some movement from the state health department people today to increase the level of supply of protective care for our patients and for our frontline workers looking after patients," he told the program.

"We need to be sure that the WorkCover system actually works for our healthcare workers if they get in that situation. The situation is really quite dramatic."

Dr Haikerwal said it was important the Victorian government "gets it right" or there could be a risk of the same situation being repeated.

He said it was extremely important that the state kept a high rate of testing, as well as providing adequate protection for healthcare workers.

"We've seen some reduction in numbers. But we are still in triple figures. Also we've seen the death rate increase over 400. Which is not a good number to be seeing," Dr Haikerwal said.

"The issue really needs to be that we keep doing the testing to make sure we see what the level of infections are out there in the community.

"We need to make sure we keep our healthcare workers protected. We need to write accurate numbers of who is actually being infected at work.

"We've seen outbreaks in hospitals around the city. And this is really quite a disturbing figure. We need to make sure that these people are protected."

Victorians urged to stop hugging

Victorians have been urged to put a ban on hugging and handshakes following fears it could be helping contribute to the state's second wave.

On Sunday, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Alison McMillan, said these types of greetings are something "we should avoid at this point in time".

"When it comes to hugs, I encourage you to if you are within your family unit with people you live with, your children or your loved ones, of course, they live with you, you can hug," Professor McMillan said.

"But when it comes to the broader community and hugging others outside of your family unit then no.

"At some point perhaps in the future we may reach a point where we will see hugging again, but not at this point in time."

Her comments came as Victorian Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, revealed many people were still not following basic rules to prevent against the spread of COVID-19.

Not washing your hands, hugging people outside your household and not wearing a mask properly or forgetting to wear one at all are just some of the basic measures people are still not following.

"Essentially the transmission that's still occurring is sometimes because people have forgotten those really basic but very essential elements," he said.

"These are simple but also easy to forget."

Millionaire Hotseat shut down over virus scare

Channel Nine's Millionaire Hotseat has become the second show to shut down filming due to COVID-19.

The quiz show is filmed at the same studios in Docklands, Melbourne as The Masked Singer, which had to stop production after seven dancers tested positive to coronavirus.

While the shows don't share the same studio they do have shared facilities that are currently undergoing a deep clean, meaning filming for the quiz show had to be temporarily suspended.

The show was set to film more episodes on Monday.

A Channel Nine spokesperson told the Herald Sun The Victorian government made the decision due to the virus cases linked to the studio. They said anything that wasn't already in production by midnight on August 6 won't be able to continue filming.

"That includes things that were on hiatus," the spokesperson said.

"Up until an hour ago we were still hoping to proceed."

More than 200 people connected to The Masked Singer have been sent into isolation, including the judges Jackie O, Dave Hughes, Urzila Carlson, Danii Minogue, host Osher Gunsberg and the masked singers.

Up to 30 people were allegedly filmed partying on campus at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Picture: 9 News
Up to 30 people were allegedly filmed partying on campus at La Trobe University in Melbourne. Picture: 9 News

 

Students party during Melbourne lockdown

A Melbourne university is investigating after a social media video showed a crowded party on campus during stage four lockdown.

The video uploaded to Snapchat was just a few seconds long, but showed a crowded party at student accommodation at La Trobe University's Bundoora campus, according to 9News. At the party nobody was wearing a mask or practising social distancing. There also appears to be a pair of men's underwear hanging from an overhead light.

Metropolitan Melbourne is currently under stage four lockdown and gatherings in people's homes are banned under directions from the Chief Health Officer. Breaching these restrictions comes with on the spot fines of $1652.

La Trobe University said it's investigating the video, saying they were concerned about the allegations.

"The University is concerned to receive footage which appears to show the public health requirements have not been met," a spokesperson told 9 News earlier today.

"We would be very disappointed if this alleged incident did occur as we have made it very clear to residents that they must comply with public health requirements and with the University's clear Rules of Residence."

The report claimed security received a complaint from a student alleging there had been a gathering at the Bundoora campus last night. However, when security attended they didn't find the party.

"If any resident has been found to have broken the rules of residence, which includes complying with health directives, the University will take action," the spokesperson said.

Victoria Police also said they are investigation reports of a breach of a breach of the public health order.

Originally published as Students party in Melbourne lockdown


New service takes fuss out of five star fare

Premium Content New service takes fuss out of five star fare

The delivery business promises to ‘turn any home cook into a gourmet chef’.

FOOTY FEVER: Gumlu students welcome league legend

Premium Content FOOTY FEVER: Gumlu students welcome league legend

Johnathan Thurston shared tips for on and off the field including how to perfect a...

How Bruce Hwy expansion could benefit growing prawn farm

Premium Content How Bruce Hwy expansion could benefit growing prawn farm

Deb Frecklington says Whitsunday residents would be some of those to benefit from...