Victoria records five new COVID-19 cases

Benita KolovosAAP
VideoEpidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett believes its safe for Victoria to ease restrictions on Friday despite a growing coronavirus cluster at an apartment complex in Southbank

Victoria has recorded three new locally acquired COVID-19 cases overnight, as authorities plan to further ease restrictions.

The Health Department confirmed five new local COVID-19 cases were recorded in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning, two of which had already been announced.

The three new cases are all linked to known outbreaks, the department said.

The two other cases, which were announced on Tuesday, are residents of the Kings Park Apartment Complex at Southbank.

The complex has been locked down for 14 days after a total of six residents, including an infant, became infected with COVID-19.

People line up to be vaccinated at a Melbourne hub (file image)
Camera IconVictoria has paused walk-in vaccinations at Pfizer hubs for the rest of the week. Credit: AAP

COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said the two new cases are both men, who lived in separate apartments adjacent to those occupied by positive cases.

“Those two positive cases are connected to some communal areas that we are concerned about, thoroughfares within that particular complex,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

The low-rise complex, which consists of about 100 townhouses, has now been listed as a Tier 1 exposure site from June 2 to June 14.

As a result, all residents in the building have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

More than 30 new exposure sites in Port Melbourne, Richmond, Southbank, South Melbourne and the CBD were listed overnight.

South Melbourne Market will be closed on Wednesday for deep cleaning after it was listed as a Tier 2 exposure site following the visit of a confirmed case on June 12.

Padre Coffee, within the market, has been listed as a Tier 1 site, meaning anyone who visited between 11.30am and 12.30pm on Saturday will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

The new infections come as Victorians are set to learn if restrictions are to be eased.

Melbourne emerged from a two-week lockdown on Friday, though it was replaced with strict restrictions, including a ban on home gatherings, a 25km travel limit and mandatory masks indoors and out.

Acting Premier James Merlino flagged last week that Melbourne would likely move closer into line with regional Victoria from June 18, where two adults are currently permitted for home visits each day.

“That would mean the travel restriction, in terms of the 25km, that would go,” he said at the time.

It would also mean gyms, indoor sporting facilities and nightclubs would be able to reopen, albeit with density limits.

But Health Minister Martin Foley on Tuesday said the further potential easing of restrictions remained a “day-by-day proposition”.

Meanwhile, walk-in Pfizer vaccinations at Victoria’s state-run hubs have been paused for the rest of the week in an attempt to preserve supply for already booked first and second doses.

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