Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned Stage 3 lockdown restrictions across Melbourne will need to be extended if there is not a “dramatic improvement” in unwell people self-isolating.
Victoria recorded 484 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.
Raising the prospect of an extended lockdown across beyond Melbourne’s six-week stay at home order, Andrews said during a press conference that public behaviour would need to improve, particularly in cases where unwell people are failing to self-isolate before getting their test results.
Analysis undertaken by Victorian authorities has revealed nine in 10 people infected with coronavirus in recent weeks have not self-isolated between feeling sick and getting tested, while more than half have failed to self-isolate while waiting for test results.
The state government is currently considering whether to enhance an $1,500 payment for sick people in insecure work, or who don’t have access to paid sick leave.
About 1,200 people have applied for hardship payments so far, but Andrews was unable to say how many claims had been processed.
Currently, only people with confirmed cases and close contacts of confirmed cases are eligible for the payment, but Andrews said the government is considering expanding the criteria.
The comments about a possible extended lockdown came amid the spectre of tougher measures to contain the outbreak in Victoria, but when asked about the prospect of a ‘Stage 4’ lockdown, Andrews said no plans were currently in motion.
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