Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a snap seven-day lockdown for Victoria sparking immediate protests and a wave of cancelled events.
“I would prefer we didn’t have to make this decision,” Andrews said.
“But my fear is if we were to wait a few days … there is every chance, instead of being locked down for a week, this gets away from us and we are potentially locked down until we all get vaccinated.
“I can’t tell you how disappointed I am to have to be here doing this again. But with so few in the community with one vaccination let alone two, I have no choice.”
The latest lockdown has begun just a week after the last one ended. Victoria has now endured six months under lockdown since the pandemic started last year.
Three regional events – Maryborough’s Energy Breakthrough, the Bendigo National Swap Meet and the Elmore Field Days – who each attract in excess of 20,000 visitors – all cancelled their upcoming events which were scheduled for October and November amid the ongoing uncertainty.
The announcement also saw an immediate response from anti-lockdown protesters, with hundreds of mainly maskless protestors descending on Melbourne’s CBD. Police have since arrested fifteen people linked to the demonstrations, which turned violent at times.