Premier hints at lockdown end ahead of 'crucial' period

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·2-min read

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has hinted the state will be able to exit lockdown on Wednesday night, yet reiterated the next 24 hours are "crucial".

"This strategy is working, we are well placed to make changes tomorrow night," he told reporters on Tuesday after the announcement of two locally acquired cases earlier.

Both cases are linked to the Holiday Inn cluster, which stands at 19 cases. The two cases were already isolating as household contacts of previous cases.

Dan Andrews has hinted the state will be able to lift its lockdown on Wednesday. Source: ABC
Daniel Andrews has hinted the state will be able to lift its lockdown on Wednesday. Source: ABC

In what has become characteristic of his cautious approach throughout the pandemic, Mr Andrews refused to commit to a decision on restriction changes early.

"We will wait as long as we can in order to have as much data as possible to make that important judgement," he said.

"As I said yesterday, I'm not in a position to definitively commit to that, because these next 24 hours will, of course, be crucial.

"That's why it was five days, not three days with a review or four days with a review. We said we would need the time to test and retest to have that degree of confidence."

Victorian government considers dedicated quarantine facility

The latest quarantine leak linked to the highly-infectious UK strain has prompted the Victorian government to consider a dedicated quarantine facility, with Avalon Airport near Geelong and Melbourne Airport being considered as locations, Mr Andrews confirmed.

He said senior officials will travel to the Northern Territory to assess the Howard Springs facility's set up which incorporates fresh air with cabins.

"There would be not zero risk but lower risk," Mr Andrews said.

He said it was his government's intention to "get on and build a facility".

Flights will not resume into Melbourne as of Thursday, the premier confirmed.

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