Saturday, September 18, 2021

Regional Victorians dine out after lockdown ends as Melbournians enter another one

Melburnians are waking to their second weekend in lockdown while residents in regional Victoria celebrated their first night of freedom yesterday as restrictions eased.
The Hotel Shamrock in Bendigo had rigorous checks in place to ensure no restaurant patrons were visiting from Melbourne, which remains in lockdown.
People had ID’s checked by staff and were given stickers to show they had been appropriately checked-in to the venue before being allowed inside the restaurant area.
Some restrictions are still in place with density limits restricting the number of diners and people were seen wearing masks as they made their way to their tables.
The freedom for those in regional cities has received a mix responses, with some businesses saying it’s harder to remain open with the restrictions still in place than it is to be closed.
Mynette Richardson told 9News caps on patrons makes it impossible for her to produce a profit, leaving her to once again dip into her personal savings, while her staff at Cafe Essence are insisting they work for free.
“It is damn hard when you watch everything you work for just goes down the gurgler,” Ms Richardson said.
While regional Victoria came out of lockdown at midnight on Friday June 4, their counterparts in Melbourne will spend another weekend indoors.
The snap-lockdown was extended another seven days across the city in hopes of containing the growing number of cases.
It comes as the state recorded another four new cases of community transmission – include three family members linked to the West Melbourne outbreak, infected with the Delta variant.
The second highly infectious COVID-19 variant, dubbed Delta or B1617.2, is the same highly transmissible strain that has ravaged India and spread in the UK.
The strain was detected through genomic sequencing on two of the cases linked to the West Melbourne cluster but is unrelated to all other cases thus far.
“The fact that it is a variant different to other cases it means it is not related, in terms of transmission, with these cases,” Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said.
“It has not been linked to any sequence cases across Australia from hotel quarantine or anywhere else that it is not linked in Victoria or any other jurisdiction.”

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