The state of Victoria has imposed new restrictions on socializing and has mandated the wearing of masks in public places following a new outbreak of Covid-19, prompting thousands to self-isolate, take tests, and get vaccinated.
From 6pm (0800 GMT) on Tuesday, Melbourne, Australia’s second biggest city, and Victoria state reinstated social distancing rules. Until June 4, Victorians over the age of 12 must wear face masks in hotels, restaurants, and other indoor venues, while people will only be allowed five visitors to their homes.
Nine cases of the Indian variant have been identified in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Thousands of people have now been ordered to self-isolate and take tests following Covid-19 alerts from several venues around the city, including one of the country’s largest shopping centers. One person who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 supposedly had a high viral load when he visited a number of venues around the city.
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Citizens have been urged to come forward and get inoculated against the virus as soon as possible. “There are right now millions of Victorians that are eligible to be vaccinated. They shouldn’t wait for tomorrow, they shouldn’t wait for next week. They should move now and get vaccinated,” James Merlino, Victoria state’s acting premier, told reporters in Melbourne.
The outbreak has also seen New Zealand cancel its “travel bubble” to Victoria for an initial 72-hour period.
To date, only 3.6 million shots have been administered in Australia, a nation of 25.3 million people.
Prior to the outbreak, Victoria had gone 86 days without a locally transmitted Covid-19 infection.
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