Sumary of Victoria Covid update: lockdown lifts but strict health orders remain as no new local cases recorded:
- Cases of Covid-19 as lockdown eases in Melbourne and the state records its first day without a new locally acquired case in 25 days, with the chief health officer warning this is just “the halfway point”.
- It comes as both Queensland and New South Wales have reported no new coronavirus cases despite listing a number of exposure sites visited by a Victorian couple who left during lockdown in Melbourne before testing positive to the virus on the Sunshine Coast..
- Lockdown lifted in Melbourne overnight but strict health orders remain, including a mandate to wear a face mask at all times outside the home, preventing some businesses from operating, and limiting travel to within 25km..
- Victoria acting premier, James Merlino, said Wednesday test numbers were too low, particularly in suburbs of concern such as Cragieburn..
- Despite the ongoing restrictions and uncertainty, which has seen some businesses remain closed and others open with reduced staff, the federal government has halted its temporary Covid-19 disaster payment..
- The payment was available only for one week for people in Melbourne, and the Victorian Council of Social Services said its eligibility criteria was so narrow as to be “cruel”..
- In Queensland, health authorities have identified 316 close contacts of the Melbourne couple, who are quarantining awaiting test results, and a further 959 people who identified themselves as having been at an exposure site…