Fears entire state could be locked down amid coronavirus outbreaks

Victorians are being warned the whole state could go into lockdown if the spread of the coronavirus continues as the premier warns “it’s not over”.

In the state, 10 postcodes have been locked down with more than 310,000 residents only allowed to leave their homes for four reasons from midnight tonight.

Victoria has been experiencing large numbers of coronavirus infections, with 73 on Wednesday – up from 64 on Tuesday – while other states are recording zero to very few cases.

Postcodes of Melbourne suburbs are seen on a television screen as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to media.
Daniel Andrews warns the whole state could be locked down if people don't follow the rules. Source: AAP

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday Premier Daniel Andrews acknowledged the new lockdown was hard for Victorians, but said it had to be done.

“It’s not over, it won’t be over for a long time,” he said.

“Ultimately, if I didn’t shut down those postcodes, I’d be shutting down all postcodes – and I don’t think we want to get to that point.”

Mr Andrews told Melbourne’s 3AW radio on Wednesday morning shutting down the postcodes was a “really significant step”.

“But when you’ve got public health advice that says shut down these postcodes now or you’ll be shutting down all postcodes later, then you want to make the tough call,” he said.

“Now it’ll be really difficult for those families and those business but we will provide any and all support we can.

“If we don’t lock this down and don’t get control of this really quickly, then we’re going to finish up with [large] case numbers and the whole state locked down.

“This is so wildly infectious so even minor breaches of the rules can contribute to this random virus moving throughout the community so we’ve all got a part to play.”

Mr Andrews reiterated if people felt sick to not go out and instead get tested.

“Follow the rules, they’re there for everybody, and if they’re not followed then sadly, heartbreakingly, we’re going to finish up with more postcodes locked down – we just don’t want that,” he told 3AW.

Can people leave the postcodes?

Mr Andrews told reporters on Tuesday, that from 11.59pm on Wednesday people in 10 different postcodes will only be allowed to leave the home for four reasons.

The 10 Victorian postcodes in lockdown

  • 3012 - Brooklyn, Kingville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray

  • 3021 - Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans

  • 3032 - Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore

  • 3038 - Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Waterardens

  • 3042 - Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie

  • 3046 - Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park

  • 3047 - Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana

  • 3055 - Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West

  • 3060 - Fawkner

  • 3064 - Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo

“There will only be four reasons that you are permitted to leave your house and only if you really have to,” Mr Andrews told reporters on Tuesday.

“For work or school, for care or care giving, for daily exercise, for food and other essentials.

“They are the acceptable reasons to leave but only if you need to.

“It is not an opportunity to go shoe shopping, it is not an opportunity to be taking daily exercise for the whole day and particularly not outside the suburbs I am about to list which will be the subject of these orders.”

Covid-19 testing is conducted in Broadmeadows, Melbourne.
If people are sick they are urged to go and get tested. Source: AAP

People need to use their ‘best judgement’

Mr Andrews told 3AW people were allowed to leave the hotspots, but must use common sense.

“It’s not an opportunity to go and buy things that you really don’t need. It’s about food, it’s about groceries. Buy household staples, things that you need to be able to get through this lockdown,” he said.

“In terms of exercise, it will be a daily exercise. I think people understand what that means. It’s not about spending the whole day bushwalking, a long way away from home.

“Again, that's not the right thing to do. It's just about common sense and people using the best judgement.”

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