Victorian LGAs Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire will enter a seven day lockdown from 11:59pm tonight, due to growing COVID-19 case numbers in those regions.

Speaking at a press conference today, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that residents in those three local government areas will only have six reasons to leave home:

  • Shopping for necessary goods and services,
  • Caregiving and compassionate reasons
  • Getting a Covid-19 test,
  • Authorised work,
  • Exercise, outdoor social interaction,
  • and to get a Covid-19 vaccination.

The rules will be the same as Melbourne and Ballarat, who are also in a hard lockdown. The difference is that these areas will not have to abide by a 9pm-5am curfew.

However, Health Minister Martin Foley remains positive that Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast Shire and Mitchell Shire will be able to suppress the outbreak like it has been done in Shepparton, Mildura and Colac.

“Regional Victorians know what the show is here. They have overcome emerging outbreaks before. We have seen it in Shepparton several times, we’ve seen it in Mildura, we’ve seen it in Colac and I hope we are seeing it right now in Ballarat which is doing and extraordinary job,” he said.

“And I’m sure we will see it in Geelong, the Surf Coast and Mitchell Shire local government areas.”

The new restrictions come after the two cases were recorded in Geelong, two in the Surf Coast and seven in Mitchell Shire overnight.

Today, Daniel Andrews also announced the state’s roadmap out of lockdown as more Victorians continue to get vaccinated. Until 80% full dose vaccinations is reached, regional and metropolitan Victoria will be under slightly different restrictions.

At 80% single dose vaccinations, masks can be removed at hairdressers and beauty salon appointments, and VCAL students can return to on-site learning for regional Victoria.

At 70% full dose vaccinations, indoor community sport will be allowed, as well as 30 vaccinated patrons allowed indoors at pubs, clubs and entertainment venues in regional Victoria.

That is all expected to happen by October 26, but of course that all depends on how quickly people are getting jabbed.

All adult Aussies (yep, even those of us under 40) are currently able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor for more info. 

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.

Image: Getty Images / Tim de Waele