A new surge in coronavirus cases in Melbourne as of June 30th 2020 has caused the city to revert backwards in terms of the lockdown restrictions placed on businesses. For those that had been eager to return to a sense of normality and once again experience the smaller pleasures such as a nice meal out, or drinks at a bar with a friend, will be disappointed to hear restrictions will be back in place until July 29th.
For many businesses the news of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions being lifted back on the 15th May was a joyous cause for celebration. Following a two month lockdown, bars and restaurants reported high numbers of customers returning to their premises, despite fears of the virus and its spread. It seemed many people, and the government alike, were keen to get back to business and happy to follow the social distancing procedures implemented in an attempt to keep the spread of the virus low.
A new cluster of cases in the Melbourne area however has meant that bars, pubs and restaurants, amongst other businesses such as hairdressers, gyms, libraries and swimming pools, are being forced back into a lockdown for another 29 days. This move back to Level 3 restrictions comes after an intensive 10 day testing campaign took place in Melbourne from the 25th June. The campaign aimed to test at least 50% of people in 10 of the city’s suburbs, and revealed worrying clusters of the virus in both the central and greater Melbourne areas. The campaign focused on Keilor Downs, Broadmeadows, Maidstone, Sunshine West, Albanvale, Hallam, Brunswick West, Reservoir, Pakenham and Fawkner areas. The clusters have been linked worrying to the interactions between extended families causing inter-community transmission. Other sites of transmission have been traced to a primary school, a dental clinic, a meat shop and a McDonald’s.