Roads flooded after Victorian 'ring of steel' comes down

Yahoo News Staff
·2-min read

Victoria’s first weekend without the “ring of steel” around Melbourne has seen a logjam on motorways as people flocked to regional areas.

The state had a ban on travelling more than 25km from Metro Melbourne lifted on Monday.

On Friday about 6pm, 7News captured video of people flocking to leave Melbourne for the weekend via the West Gate Freeway.

Many people headed for popular coastal areas including Port Fairy, southwest of Melbourne as temperatures rise, the ABC reported.

Traffic builds up on West Gate Freeway, Melbourne.
People flock to leave Melbourne for the weekend on Friday evening. Source: 7News

Areas including Melbourne and towns across Great Ocean Road are forecast to hit a maximum above 30 degrees on Sunday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

ABC reporter Daniel Miles described the packed Port Fairy as “an unusual scene” after seven months of no travel between regional Victoria and Melbourne.

Tour operators expect businesses to be “chockablock,” he said.

“There is obviously the flipside of the coin that some tourism operators are a little bit nervous.

“As anyone would be when you open a ring of steel like this ... heading towards a semblance of Covid-normal and a lot of locals have mentioned around the traps that they are a little bit nervous coming out knowing that the real wave of Melburnians will be breaching upon us this weekend,” he said.

“But, in the end, we know a town like Port Fairy, like a lot of these regional tourist areas, they really rely on tourism.”

People are seen at a farmer's market in Torquay, Victoria.
People enjoy the farmer's market in Torquay, southwest of Melbourne, on Saturday morning. Source: AAP

Premier Daniel Andrews said last weekend before the ring of steel was removed the state “can be whole again” due to the sacrifices made by Victorians.

South Australia will also open its borders to Victorians on December 1.

Premier Steven Marshall said the change will bring Victoria in line with SA's rules for all other states, but is dependent on no major new outbreak of Covid-19 cases in the next two weeks.

"This (hard border closure) has been in place for an extended period of time and it's been important to keep our state safe," Mr Marshall said on Friday.

"It has been our first line of defence."

NSW announced last week it would reopen its border with Victoria on November 23.

On Saturday, Victoria recorded no new cases of coronavirus for the 15th consecutive day.

with AAP

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