Premier diverts hotel quarantine arrivals as suburb lockdowns and inquiry loom

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews has today diverted returning international travellers away from entering hotel quarantine as suburb lockdowns will be instated in Victoria from July 1 11.59pm across the following postcodes: 

3012Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray
3021Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
3032Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
3038Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
3042Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
3046Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
3047Broadmeadows, Dallas , Jacana
3055Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
3064Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo

Lockdowns have become necessary as 233 new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed since last Thursday, representing “unacceptable rates of community transmission.” Residents in postcodes outlined above will be required to comply with previous Stay at Home Directions that dictate they will only be able to leave their home to attend school or work (if this can’t be done from home); to care for an individual; for daily exercise, and/or for food and other essentials. ‘Booze bus’ style checks will frequently be set up at entry and exit points to these suburbs by Victoria Police, to ensure compliance. 

The Premier also referenced that Victorian Tourism Minister and Minister for the Coordination of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Martin Pakula will hold a press conference to discuss this matter. When doing so, he announced that a judicial inquiry will be held into a number of health protocol breaches that have occurred in a hotel quarantine setting. TAA (Vic) appreciates that a significant number of these breaches relate to the actions of contracted hotel security guards. The Inquiry will be led by a yet to be named former Victorian judge.

As a consequence of these breaches, the Premier has confirmed that any international flights that were scheduled to land in Melbourne over the next 14 days, will be diverted to other parts of Australia. To address growing COVID-19 related challenges, the Premier also noted that 800 support staff from across Australia are soon to arrive in Victoria to assist with the continuation of a vigorous testing regime in these ‘hot spot’ areas. These personnel include 100 suburban testing team leaders; 200 clinical staff, and 500 predominantly Melbourne based public servants to deliver a related community engagement strategy. 

During this time, the hotel quarantine program will be ‘reset’ and be overseen, at an operational level, by Corrections Victoria staff, not by contracted security firms. 

Food and beverage operations located in these postcodes will only be able to operate on a ‘takeaway only’ basis. Clarity around the continued operation of accommodation properties located in these postcodes is still being sought.  

Related statement – Victorian Premier 

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