Five-day ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown announced for Victoria

 

Melbourne Airport has confirmed a staff member at terminal four cafe Brunetti has tested positive for COVID-19, with greater Melbourne bracing to enter another lockdown.

Twenty-nine flights landed at, or took off from, the domestic terminal at the time the infected staff member worked.

The total number of passengers that flew on the 29 domestic flights - in the timeframe outlined - through terminal four at Melbourne Airport, was 3591.

Anyone who visited terminal four on February 9 between 4.45am and 2pm must be tested for the virus and isolate for 14 days.

The Brunetti worker was a close contact of a confirmed case of a Holiday Inn quarantine hotel worker and later developed the virus.

The cafe had been deep-cleaned, an airport spokesperson said.

Melbourne Airport said it was working closely with the government to support its contact tracing efforts.

The case is one of two cases to be linked to the Holiday Inn outbreak on Thursday night, taking the hotel quarantine cluster to 13.

The Victorian government is set to provide a coronavirus update from 1pm.

 

The Brunetti Cafe at Terminal 4 at Melbourne Airport has been closed after it was linked to the most recent COVID cluster. Picture: Andrew Henshaw.
The Brunetti Cafe at Terminal 4 at Melbourne Airport has been closed after it was linked to the most recent COVID cluster. Picture: Andrew Henshaw.

 

 

MELBOURNE LOCKDOWN LOOMING

Victorians are set to be sent into another hard lockdown with official confirmation expected on Friday afternoon.

The Herald Sun understands restrictions could look like those imposed in August when there was a limit on leaving home, closure of schools, non-essential services and gathering restrictions.

A cabinet meeting will take place at 11.45am where they will be presented with the plans for the lockdown which will last up to five days.

Read the full story.

 

HOLIDAY INN CLUSTER NOW AT 13 CASES

Five new cases emerged as part of the cluster on Thursday, including the husbands of two food and beverage attendants who worked at the Melbourne Airport hotel.

In an 11pm tweet, the Department of Health confirmed the latest two cases were "household primary close contacts" of existing cases.

It marked the first cases of transmission outside the quarantine system.

Early on Friday morning a new location - Brunetti in Terminal 4 of Melbourne Airport - was added to the Tier 1 exposure sites (see below).

Anyone who visited Brunetti over an 8.5 hour period from 4.45am to 1.15pm on February 9 must immediately isolate, get a test, and quarantine for 14 days.

On Thursday night the Herald Sun revealed authorities fear Victoria is on the brink of the third COVID-19 wave with high-level discussions on Thursday night under way regarding the introduction of a snap lockdown.

 

AFLW TICKET SALES PAUSED AMID UNCERTAINTY

Ticket sales for this weekend's AFLW games have been put on pause amid uncertainty surrounding the recent coronavirus outbreak.

Three games are set to be played in Melbourne across the weekend, with tickets due to go on sale at 10am Friday.

A further two games are scheduled to be played in other states, while a third interstate game between the Brisbane Lions and the West Coast Eagles had already been postponed due to border uncertainties.

The AFL made the announcement at 9.30am.

"Ticket sales for Round 3 of the NAB AFL Women's Competition have momentarily been put on hold," a statement from the AFL Women's Twitter account said.

"Keep your eyes on our social media channels for further updates."

Tickets for Friday night's match in Geelong - which went on sale on Thursday - appear to still be available on the Ticketmaster website.

 

SHOPPERS STOCK UP AHEAD OF ANTICIPATED LOCKDOWN

Shoppers at Canterbury Gardens in Melbourne's outer east were seen stocking up on supplies of toilet paper on Friday.

While there was none of the panic buying associated with the start of previous lockdowns, the majority of shoppers at Woolworths in Bayswater North had at least two bulk packs of toilet paper in their trolleys.

A pyramid of toilet paper which had been stacked at the front of one of the aisles was proving a popular destination for shoppers.

 

 

PM URGES VIC TO TAKE A PROPORTIONATE RESPONSE

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said snap lockdowns had proven to be sensible in other states to give contact tracers a "head start".

He confirmed Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly and Health Minister Greg Hunt had been working with Victorian authorities on options overnight.

The Prime Minister told 3AW that he would not preempt the state government's decisions, but said that he expected Victorians would learn more today.

Mr Morrison said he expected that with a proportionate and targeted response, the state government should be able to get on top of the outbreak and avoid a repeat of last year's lengthy lockdown.

Victoria's testing commander, Jeroen Weimar, said it was still "early days" in the outbreak.

"This is by no means over, we are still in the opening quarter of the Holiday Inn outbreak I'm afraid," he said.

 

"We've got a lot of work to do to really make sure we pull this one up.

"What is more challenging with this one is it's the UK variant so we don't yet know how easily it transmits when you get into the second and third generation of people catching it. That's going to be the challenge for us now and over the coming days."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, speaking on morning television in Sydney, said screening measures had been put in place at Sydney Airport checking if any passengers had been at the Holiday Inn.

"We're nowhere near (closing borders)," Ms Berejiklian said.

"It's not a situation that can't be managed."

Authorities have deemed 400-500 people close contacts of confirmed cases, including Holiday Inn workers, returned travellers who were staying there and people linked to exposure sites.

The original COVID-positive family that triggered the outbreak were transferred from the Holiday Inn to a medi-hotel on February 4.

The health department said anyone at the hotel for more than 15 minutes between January 27 and February 9 was considered a primary close contact and was urged to self-isolate, get a test and stay in isolation for 14 days.

 

Camberwell Grammar was closed on Thursday as a non-teaching staff member had tested positive. It is not clear whether that member was among the 13.

Mr Weimar said on Thursday contact tracing efforts were being focused on the Sunbury area. Several businesses were listed as exposure sites.

 

People queue at a COVID testing station in Sunbury. Picture: Andrew Henshaw
People queue at a COVID testing station in Sunbury. Picture: Andrew Henshaw

 

The health department said anyone at the hotel for more than 15 minutes between January 27 and February 9 was considered a primary close contact and was urged to self-isolate, get a test and stay in isolation for 14 days.

A community meeting was held in Sunbury on Wednesday night and Mr Weimar said contact tracing efforts were focused on that area.

Patrons who visited at the same time as an infected food and beverage worker were told to get tested and isolate.

 

Authorities had issued an alert on Wednesday night for the broader Sunbury Square Shopping Centre, asking anyone who visited from 3.40pm to 4.30pm on February 4, to get tested and isolate until they get a negative result. An osteopathic clinic in Avondale Heights in the city's northwest was among the sites visited by one COVID-positive case, however was not included on the exposure sites as all clients were contacted directly.

 

 

 

WHAT SNAP LOCKDOWN WOULD MEAN FOR AUS OPEN

COVID-19 has already impacted the Australian Open significantly, but amid reports of an imminent lockdown in Melbourne, what happens to the tennis tournament?

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has already endured a nightmare scenario in the lead up to this year's tournament after 72 players were forced into hard lockdown after arriving in Melbourne.

Get the latest on Open reaction here

 

HOLIDAY INN CLUSTER EXPLAINED

As the Holiday Inn hotel quarantine cluster continues to grow, we look at each positive case that has been identified so far, how and when they caught the virus and where they've been in the community.

Read the full report here

Originally published as Victorian government to announce lockdown plan


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