Public transport in Melbourne will be suspended for six hours on Saturday as part of a large-scale police operation to stop a planned protest against the city's ongoing Covid containment.
The Victoria Police Commissioner Shane Patton said on Wednesday that public transport - including buses, trams and trains - would be suspended for entering Melbourne's CBD between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday in an effort to prevent 'freedom' protesters from gathering in the city after thousands I gathered in late August.
"We have no problem facilitating the demonstration when there is a place in time for it happens. This weekend is not the time and place for that to happen, "said Patton.
" It is really interesting that this whole cohort of people who care about freedom don't. seem to respect the freedoms of others and anyone coming here puts those freedoms at risk. "
Two thousand police officers will be on site as part of the operation to stop the demonstration and markers will be erected with traffic management points and roving patrols. Only essential workers with valid permits will be allowed to enter the city center.
Patton said those participating in the protest could face fines of nearly $ 5,500 and the possibility of a fineadditional $ 1,800 if they are outside their 5 km limit. He warned that the protests could turn violent as they did in August.
"We will make sure we are prepared to deal with this. But I just want people to think about it. Do you really want to put your family in danger in case a small group of people come in, and if they intend to commit acts of violence like they do? was the last time? "
The commissioner said police will also monitor social media and prosecute people who posted photos of themselves during the protests.
This comes as Ballarat returns to lockdown for seven days while Shepparton will join the rest of the Victoria area to come out of lockdown after the state has reported 423 new local cases of Covid.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced that Ballarat's instant lockdown would begin at midnight on Wednesday after new cases emerged. identified in the regional town and viral fragments were detected in the sewage.
State Chief of Health Professor Bret t Sutton , said that the identification of two cases of infectivity dating back to September 8 means there would likely be more cases. "There will likely be more cases and it is for this reason that 'immediate lockdown is really the right answer "he said.
There would be additional cases. test sites in Ballarat with hours opening extended, but the prime minister said they would not test people without symptoms. There would be a push to speed up vaccinations in Ballarat over the next seven days.
Geelong had three cases and was not locked up, but Sutton said that was because the cases were linked or isolated during their infectious period, meaning there was fewer exhibition sites.
Once the outbreak was under control, Shepparton would join the rest of the Victoria area as the lockdown comes out from 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
There were 173 people with Covid at Victoria Hospital, including 44 in intensive care and 23 people on ventilators. Two other deaths have been reported: a man in his 40s from the Whittlesea area and a man in his 70s from Wyndham.
More than half of the newx cases - 270 - were in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, including Craigieburn, Roxburgh Park and Glenroy. There were 112 in the western suburbs, 10 in the eastern suburbs, 25 in south-eastern Melbourne, three in Geelong and two in Ballarat.
Alright As cases have stabilized within 400 over the past few days, the Chief Medical Officer of Health said he expected the number of cases to continue to rise in the coming days and the peak has not yet been reached.
"Unfortunately, we have not peaked," Sutton said.
"Modeling and everything we know about our current immunization coverage suggests that cases will continue to increase.
" It seems 'being a bit stabilized in recent days, but we don't know where that true number is. The risk of it reaching 1,000 [cases per day] is real. We devoWe therefore continue with the vaccinations at the fastest possible rate for this reason alone.
Victoria hit her goal of 1 million doses of vaccine delivered in five-week state centers on Wednesday - days ahead of schedule.
With 68.5% of the population over 16 having at least one dose, Victoria is expected to reach 70% by Friday, and Andrews has reported additional "modest" freedoms once that goal is achieved, including ours of three hours of outdoor exercise instead of two and an increased range of travel from 5 km to 10 km.
Andrews said there could be more relaxation around socialization but that it does precede the announcement. The full roadmap to come out of lockdown as Victoria hits 70% and 80% of double dose is expected to be revealed on Sunday - but the announcement of the firstThe 70% dose will be made before that date.
Despite the limited supply of Pfizer vaccine nationally, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland have all announced that those over 60 - who have had access to the AstraZeneca vaccine for months - will be able to access Pfizer.
When asked if Victoria would follow up, Andrews replied that he would not make her available to them while the under-16s - who can only get the Pfizer vaccine - tried to get their shots.
"There is a very good vaccine available. I'm not going to take a vaccine that's the only one available for 12, 13, 14, 15 year olds, and give it to 60 year olds when 60 year olds have AstraZeneca that they can access. ”
Meanwhile, in the Northern Territory, Chief Minister Michael Gunner has announced that high-risk workers should bebe vaccinated and described the plan of the territory once 80% vaccination has been achieved. As part of the plan, vaccinated people arriving from low risk areas would be able to roam freely in the NT, while those from medium risk areas would first have to isolate themselves until a result. negative be returned. Those in high-risk areas should self-isolate for 14 days, but could self-isolate at home.
Unvaccinated people in at-risk areas medium and high who were not pre-approved to enter the NT would be refused, while those approved would have to self-isolate in Howard Springs at their own expense.