Victoria sees record Delta spike as 'ring of steel' surrounds Melbourne

·Assistant News Editor
·2-min read

Victoria has recorded another day of more than 500 new local Covid-19 cases as Melburnians enjoy newly eased restrictions. 

The state recorded 535 new local cases on Saturday – a new daily record during its latest Delta outbreak.

Of the 535 local cases, only 62 have so far been linked to known cases and outbreaks, the state health department said. 

Victoria has also seen another Covid-related death. 

There are currently nearly 5,000 active known cases in Victoria as authorities brace for another lockdown protest expected in the city today.

The latest case number came from 61,622 tests conducted in the 24-hour period. 

Construction workers take their lunch break on a busy street, disrupting traffic in Melbourne on September 17 to protest the closing of their onsite tea rooms by health officials. Source: Getty
Construction workers take their lunch break on a busy street, disrupting traffic in Melbourne on September 17 to protest the closing of their onsite tea rooms by health officials. Source: Getty

'Ring of steel' surrounds Melbourne over protest fears

Victoria's police force will embark on its biggest operation in two decades to quash a Melbourne anti-lockdown protest, as "picnic day" arrives for pandemic-fatigued residents.

The Melbourne CBD will effectively be turned into a no-go zone for Saturday's planned rally, with most public transport to and from the city suspended and a "ring of steel" erected around its fringe.

Authorised workers and those with Covid-19 vaccination bookings at two city-based hubs will need to show proof to board limited buses and pass through checkpoints from 8am to 2pm.

The partial public transport shutdown was made at the request of police after 4000 people attended a violent anti-lockdown protest on August 21.

Some 2000 officers will be deployed during Saturday's operation, which will involve road checkpoints, barricades and roving patrols.

Chief Commissioner Shane Patton previously labelled it the biggest Victoria Police operation since the 2000 World Economic Forum was held in Melbourne.

Victoria Police have locked down the city in anticipation of further unrest. Source: AAP
Victorian police have locked down the city in anticipation of further unrest. Source: AAP

Rules relaxed for vaccinated 

It comes as Melbourne and Ballarat residents simultaneously prepare to revel in modestly eased COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday after reaching 70 per cent first dose coverage across Victoria's eligible population.

Among the changes, people will be able to meet one person from another household for a walk or picnic, outdoor exercise time is doubled and the travel limit expanded to 10km.

Fully vaccinated adults can see five people from two households, plus dependants for a picnic.

with AAP

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