Easing of restrictions delayed in Melbourne due to northern suburbs outbreak

Easing of restrictions delayed in Melbourne due to northern suburbs outbreak

COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne will not be eased today as the state's health authorities work to contain an outbreak of the virus in the city's northern suburbs.

The news comes after six new cases were identified in Melbourne's northern suburbs, meaning there have so far been 39 cases spread across 11 households in the area.

According to the state's Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured), health authorities are not yet aware of how the cases link together.

"I know plenty of people were looking forward to some good news today. And soon, very soon, we'll have some," said Andrews.

"But for now, we need to do again what we've done throughout this pandemic: follow the advice of our public health experts. That means there can be no changes to restrictions in Melbourne today."

Over the last 24 hours more than 3,000 residents of the area were tested for COVID-19.

The Premier hopes to announce further easing of restrictions in Melbourne later this week once the tests results are returned.

"Put simply: this is a couple of extra days that might put us weeks ahead of this virus. To not only get on top of this outbreak but to stamp it out," said Andrews.

"I know everyone will be disappointed we're not making that move today. I get that. I am too.

"But I want to reassure you, this is not us taking a step back. This is us making sure we can take a step forward and stay there."

While today's news will be disappointing for Melburnians the state has announced further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in regional Victoria.

From 11.59pm on Tuesday 27 October indoor gyms and fitness spaces in regional Victoria will be able to open up to 20 people, with a maximum of ten per space and a density of one person per 8 square metres.

Indoor pools will also open to 20 people at a time, and indoor sport will be permitted for those aged 18 and under.

Food courts will also be permitted to resume trading and live music can resume as part of outdoor hospitality.

School graduations will be allowed within school communities and 20 people can gather together indoors for religious ceremonies or 50 people outdoors.

"Regional Victorians should be proud of this success. Everyone should be proud of this success. Because soon, it will belong to our whole state," said Andrews.

The news comes as New South Wales has recorded no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 for the third day in a row, plus seven cases of the coronavirus in hotel quarantine.

Updated at 12.03pm AEDT on 25 October 2020.

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