Australia

Restrictions to ease in eight of Melbourne's locked-down public housing towers

A public housing tower in North Melbourne. Source: AAP

A hard lockdown is set to end for eight of the public housing estates in Melbourne, meaning people will be able to leave for essential purposes.

Restrictions will be eased in eight of the nine Melbourne public housing towers that have been in hard lockdown since Saturday.

All towers, except the 33 Alfred Street estate, will move to Stage 3 restrictions, in line with the rest of metropolitan Melbourne

This means residents will be able to leave for essential work, study, exercise or care responsibilities.

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Tenants in the Alfred Street building, where there have been 53 cases of COVID-19, will have to remain inside for another nine days. However, they will be allowed to have supervised exercise outside.

"We need to recognise that there might be 20 to 25 per cent of individuals in that particular tower who end up developing coronavirus and potentially more," Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.

It comes after authorities conducted 2,515 COVID-19 tests in the nine towers.

Residents at 9 Pampas Street and 159 Melrose St, North Melbourne, will enter Stage 3 from 5pm, after no cases of coronavirus were recorded in either.

The remaining six towers will end hard lockdown at 11:59pm, after 104 cases were detected among them. Those who have tested positive and their close contacts must remain in self-isolation. 

On Thursday, Victoria recorded another 165 new COVID-19 infections.

Residents in affected public housing towers who need access to support and assistance should call the Housing Call Centre on 1800 961 054. If you need a translator, first call 131 450. Both services are 24/7. More information can be found here.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus 

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