Second wave fears dampen Victoria’s reopening hopes

A spike in new Covid-19 cases in Victoria has sparked a temporary tightening of restrictions and spooked other states who have yet to reopen their borders.

Victoria confirmed another 19 cases on Sunday, taking to 160 the number of new cases in the state over the past week.

The Andrews Government has warned Australians against travelling to and from Victorian coronavirus hotspots in the local government areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.

“The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee strongly discourages travel to and from those areas until control of community transmission has been confirmed,” the committee said in a statement.

The spike in infections has alarmed other states that were still keeping their borders closed including Queensland and Western Australia.

“The last thing we want to do is lift the borders, have lots of people come here for school holidays, spread coronavirus in our state, and then force us to go backwards on restrictions,” Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said.

“Clearly what’s happening in Victoria will be a matter we will need to take into account in those considerations.”

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan said he was also concerned about the implications for his state reopening borders.

“Clearly what has happened in Victoria means that we will take that into account in any decisions we’ll make, but like everyone I’m very worried about it when you see these outbreaks,” McGowan said.

“Once they get out of control people can die and I don’t want to see that come here.”