Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews has announced that the regional town of Ballarat will enter lockdown tonight for seven days.
The town has recorded four positive cases and multiple exposure sites.
From 11.59pm tonight, the City of Ballarat will have the same restrictions – except for the curfew – in place as Metropolitan, Melbourne. This will last for seven days, until 11.59 pm on Wednesday, 22 September.
The Shepparton community will get their share of freedom as from 11.59 pm tonight, they will have their restriction settings downgraded to match the rest of regional Victoria.
For the community in Ballarat, there will be only five reasons to leave home:
1-Shopping for necessary goods and services,
2- Authorised work and study,
3- Caregiving or compassionate reasons,
5- Getting vaccinated.
Exercise and shopping will be limited to 5km from your home. If there are no shops within your 5km radius, you can travel to the ones closest to you.
Masks will be mandatory indoors and outdoors – and there will still be no visitors allowed to the home.
Exercise will be limited to just you and one other person, plus dependants if they can’t be left at home.
Playgrounds will remain open for children under 12 but with only one parent or carer and adults should not remove their masks to eat or drink. Playgrounds must have QR codes.
Premier Daniel Andrews urged City of Ballarat residents, “The best thing you can do is get tested immediately if you have any symptoms at all and get vaccinated if you haven’t booked your appointment.”
Premier Daniel Andrews said,
“We know this will be disappointing for the Ballarat community, but we’d rather get on top of these cases open up again as quickly as possible, than let cases get out of control in the area.”
“It’s so important that people in these LGAs continue to check for exposure sites near them, get tested if they have any symptoms at all and most important – get vaccinated if you haven’t already,” added Mr Andrews.
There is a walk-in testing centre at the Ballarat Respiratory Clinic on Dana Street, and a drive-through on Skipton Street.
Getting vaccinated has never been more important – it is well and truly our way out of this pandemic. The vast majority of people in Ballarat have had a least one dose of the vaccine, which is a positive sign but if you’re not among them, it’s time to get it done.
Quote attributable Minister for Health Martin Foley
“Our regional communities have gotten on top of these outbreaks before and we know Ballarat will do exactly the same, to keep their friends, their family and the whole community safe.”