What you need to know as Ballarat enters lockdown, Shepparton exits

Ballarat will go back into lockdown for seven days while Shepparton will join the rest of regional Victoria enjoying eased restrictions.

Premier Daniel Andrews said Ballarat's lockdown – due to end at 11.59pm on September 22 – comes after four new coronavirus cases and wastewater detections emerged in the regional Victorian city.

The premier said the lockdown aimed to curb rising COVID-19 infections in the region and to prevent the outbreak from ballooning.

READ MORE: Victorian cases yet to peak, could hit 1000

"What I want to say to the people of Ballarat, just like the people of Shepparton, I know the people of that proud city will stick together, they will look out for each other, they will look out for each other, they will support each other," Mr Andrews said.

"And we will be there to support them."

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said more cases were expected to arise in the region and urged residents to get vaccinated.

"It's been over a week of likely transmission within the Ballarat community," he said.

"The majority of people in Ballarat have had one dose which is great, but if you are not among them, please get among them."

A traffic sign with restriction warnings stand on the Western Highway between Melbourne and Ballarat.

READ MORE: Curfews to end in Sydney LGAs of concern tonight

In Ballarat, 69 per cent of the eligible population over 16 have had their first dose of vaccinations so far.

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said the government would be "sending thousands of additional doses of vaccine to Ballarat over the coming days" to boost that number amid the outbreak.

Here is what's changing in Ballarat.

What restrictions will be in place?

Ballarat will be under the same restrictions as metropolitan Melbourne, aside from the curfew.

This means there will only be five reasons for people within the region to leave home, including: shopping for food and supplies, to receive or give care, authorised work or study that can't be done from home, to get tested or vaccinated and exercise once a day for two hours.

READ MORE: The debilitating symptoms associated with long COVID

People walk around Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, Victoria, where restrictions have eased.

The travel radius will also be in place, meaning people must not travel beyond five kilometres from their home, unless for the few exemptions in place.

Masks will also be mandatory indoors and outdoors.

No visitors will be allowed at homes and outdoor gatherings are no longer permitted.

Exercise is limited to two people, plus dependents if they cannot be left at home.

Playgrounds will be open for children under 12 but only one parent or carer is permitted and adults should not remove their masks.

READ MORE: Victoria's travel permit scheme under Ombudsman investigation

Shepparton released from lockdown

The City of Shepparton will exit lockdown from 11.59pm tonight after running their COVID-19 outbreak to the ground.

Mr Andrews said there were still cases of COVID-19 emerging in Shepparton, but they had been in isolation, making it safe for the city to re-open.

"There's cases in Shepparton, but they have been in iso, they cleared through their day 13 testing," he said.

"Thanks to the great work of the Shepparton community looking out for each other, sticking together, getting tested, getting vaccinated, staying at home and isolating away from each other and now three days with no new cases Shepparton will be able to join the rest of regional Victoria.

"That is a credit to the people of the Goulburn Valley."

Shepparton will join the rest of regional Victoria and will enjoy the following relaxed restrictions:

What restrictions will ease in Shepparton?

From 11.59pm tonight, people will be able to gather outdoors in a group of up to 10 in Shepparton.

Private gatherings at homes remain banned.

Work and study from home are encouraged, but offices can reopen with up to 25 per cent of staff or 10 people – whichever is greater.

Childcare, kindergarten and early childhood education centres can reopen.

Primary schools are open for children in prep to grade two only and secondary schools are open for Year 12, students completing VCE units 3/4 and students in their final year of VCAL, VET or the International Baccalaureate.

Retail venues can open with a density limit of 1 person per 4 square metres.

Beauty and personal care services are open with a maximum of 10 patrons, but masks are required during treatments.

Restaurants and cafes can open for seated service with a maximum of 10 patrons indoors and a maximum of 20 outdoors with a total venue cap of 30.

People who live in regional Victoria but work at a school, kindergarten or childcare centre in Melbourne must get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours after their shift – no more than twice in seven days – as a precaution.

Outdoor community sport is permitted for training only, with the training to be limited to the number of participants and staff required. No spectators are permitted.

Outdoor personal training is allowed with up to 10 people and a trainer.

Indoor physical recreation facilities, including gyms, remain closed.

Indoor entertainment facilities, including theatres, cinemas and galleries, are open with a cap of 20 people per indoor space.

Leave a Comment