Just hours ago it was announced that Victoria would head into a seven-day snap lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. Shortly afterward, hundreds and potentially thousands of Melburnians took to the CBD to protest against it.
According to reports by the Herald Sun, the large group congregated at Flinders Street at 7pm on Thursday before marching down Swanston Street, shouting “no more lockdowns”.
— sarah bourke ???????????? (@blixagerl) August 5, 2021
At least one protester was arrested by police, according to the publication. There were also a number of altercations between protesters and bystanders who were just trying to get home.
“I had COVID last year. I was really sick,” a man shouted to a female protester.
“COVID is fake,” she shouted back.
One bystander told News.com.au that “nobody could get an Uber home from the city at 8pm because there was a gridlock from the protest.”
“Now, there’s heaps of sirens and helicopters, felt like a weird doomsday movie. Because the vibe was kind of one of camaraderie in Melbourne and then it kind of turned weird,” they added.
However, for one business owner, he believes the lockdown means he has now lost everything.
“How can any business survive through this, I’ve lost everything,” he told the Herald Sun.
HAPPENING: A large anti-lockdown protest is underway in Melbourne, Australia.
— Election Wizard (@ElectionWiz) August 5, 2021
My son was in Melbourne he was on his way home from doing a job, when he came across the protest, he filmed it. pic.twitter.com/FZBomRpMzP
— Angela Oliver (@AngelaO60260461) August 5, 2021
As of 8pm on Thursday, Victorians will only have five reasons to leave home and they are:
- to provide or receive caregiving
- purchasing essential goods (eg. groceries and medication)
- work if it cannot be conducted at home
- receiving a vaccination
Masks will also be required indoors (not at home) and outdoors if you cannot maintain 1.5m distance from each other.
The new restrictions come after Victoria recorded six new COVID-19 cases overnight, with two recorded today. Three of those six cases are being treated as mystery infections, which is why the Daniel Andrews government and health authorities are being cautious.
“We only get one chance to act fast,” Andrews said at today’s press conference.
For a list of all the current COVID-19 exposure sites, head here.