As residents across Melbourne face strict new COVID-19 lockdown conditions, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced a range of support measures for those affected.
In recent days, Victoria has taken drastic steps to slow the spread of the virus, including a hard lockdown imposed on approximately 3000 residents of nine public housing blocks.
Residents of those blocks, in postcodes 3031 and 3051 will not be allowed to leave home for the next five days, as officials test every resident for COVID-19.
500 police officers will be on duty at the residential towers, to ensure “safety, compliance and security.”
The new measures have been met with criticism, with some residents in the tower blocks saying they weren’t given warning and feel as if they are being treated like criminals.
Addressing the media this morning, Daniel Andrews tried to sell the tough new lockdown conditions, saying “this is not about punishment but protection.”
He said that no rent will be charged to residents of the towers for the next two weeks, and that there will be a $1500 hardship payment for those who are not able to go to work.
Households where nobody is in employment will receive a $750 payment.
Public housing lockdown support: No rent charged for two weeks, $1500 hardship payment for those who cannot go to work, $750 for those without a job.
— James Hancock (@jameshancockABC) July 5, 2020
There are currently 543 active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria, with 74 more recorded overnight.
The state’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said today that four new cases have been linked to outbreaks in the public housing blocks, out of 27 total cases there.
When announcing the tough measures yesterday, Daniel Andrews urged people to think about “their families, friends and communities” as Victoria tries to slow the spread of the virus.
He said that residents of the towers will be supported with “onsite clinical care, as well as food delivery and care packages.”
Statement from the Premier on further local restrictions. pic.twitter.com/ZT9roaMwlP
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) July 4, 2020