Coronavirus (Covid-19)World

Melbourne, Australia on week-long Covid-19 lockdown

PHOTO: Melbourne Australia heads into a one week lockdown after a Covid-19 outbreak. (via CCNull)

Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, has just gone into a sudden 7-day Covid-19 lockdown, after a recent outbreak. The city of 5 million people has new stay at home orders today for the next week, going into effect at midnight tonight and lasts until June 3. The lockdown will not just affect the city of Melbourne but the entire Victoria state.

During the lockdown, people are instructed to stay at home except for essential work, healthcare, getting food and necessary supplies, and getting Covid-19 vaccines.

The lockdown comes on the heels of a new Coronavirus cluster that has grown to 26 people over the week, with 12 new cases diagnosed yesterday. The new infections were found in several nightclubs, 2 Aussie football matches, and a medieval battle reenactment, and now 150 locations are suspected of being possible Covid-19 exposure sites after thorough contact tracing. The tracing identified over 10,000 people who may have come in contact with an infected person or with a person in proximity to an infected person.

Melbourne had recently reimposed Covid-19 restrictions for residents like mandatory masks in restaurants, hotels and indoor businesses, and limits on the size of gatherings allowed. The lockdown has been put in effect after evidence that the new cases are of a highly infectious strain moving much faster than previous outbreaks in Australia.

This new outbreak was traced to a local man returning from overseas, who tested negative after quarantine in South Australia, but then tested positive 6 days later. The Covid-19 infection appears to be the Indian variant, known for its rapid spread.

Australia has been fast to contain outbreaks with lockdowns but has been criticised for its slow vaccine rollout, with just 3.7 million jabs given so far in a country with 25 million inhabitants. Homes for the elderly where hundreds died in outbreaks last year still have not been vaccinated. Government opposition is calling for a complete overhaul of the mass vaccination systems.

While Victoria is the second smallest state by area, it is the most densely populated region of Australia, with 6.6 million residents now in lockdown, the majority of which live in the greater Melbourne area. It is second in population only to New South Wales, home to the most populous city in Australia, Sydney. With that many people, it is home to 90% of Australia’s total Covid-19 deaths.

Victoria hadn’t seen new Covid-19 infections for 3 months previous to this new outbreak that led to the lockdown. Australia had done relatively well during the pandemic due to strong lockdowns, strict Covid-19 safety regulations, and active contact tracing.

SOURCE: Reuters and Bangkok Post

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.


  1. This lockdown thing has to end. Theres enough evidence out there now that it makes little difference but the price is devastating. Plus Covid just isn’t deadly with the right medication and preparation. Time to end the politicians power grab before it becomes permanent.

  2. I’m in Brisbane in Queensland. Our state has had a different approach to the other states including Victoria. Anyone in Hotel quarantine that tests positive is immediately moved to the infectious diseases unit of one of our major hospitals and isolated. In other states the person stays in hotel quarantine and only goes to hospital if their symptoms become more severe. Perhaps that is why we have so little numbers and only returning travellers from overseas. Vaccination is the only solution.

  3. Lockdowns don’t work … how pathetic but such a response is to be expected from the People’s Repubiic of Melbourne where woke school kids can hold the government to ransome. What has happened to the rugged
    Independent Australia we used to know and love … so sad.

  4. @Buttaxe – There are several strategies to cope with Coved. A first one is a zero-tolerance policy, with strict contact-tracing and episodes of fairly strict lock-downs, but with freedom in between (Australia, China). A second one is limiting the number of cases to what your medical system can bear, by imposing lighter but continuous restrictions (some countries in Europe achieved 25% of natural immunity this way). A third one is breakdown (India comes to mind).

  5. @Buttaxe -but the populations have become weak, timid and afraid! All living like startled rabbits in the middle of the fast lane, undecided which way to go! SO FRICKIN’ SAD… HUMANITY HAS LOST ITS BALLS!!

  6. We wouldn’t be in this position had the government invested in fit for purpose quarantine facilities. In the past six months there has been 17 breaches of the virus from hotel quarantine. And the vaccination program has been one debacle after another. Fix these issues and we’re not talking about lockdowns.

  7. Your article ‘Melbourne, Australia on week-long Covid-19 lockdown’ states that, “Australia has been fast to contain outbreaks with lockdowns but has been criticised for its slow vaccine rollout, with just 3.7 jabs given so far in a country with 25 million inhabitants.”
    Please explain what 3.7 jabs looks like! Thank you.

  8. what politics ( older and not very sporty -people ) do
    if many 100s per villages and millions per big city,
    not follow self-restriction ?

    most people worldwide are not really interested in news, even before corona.
    so to get this info for all people at the right time will not happen.

    much police people and soldiers are not really pro politicians.
    without enough officers, restriction ends. therefore i suggest,
    people have to get knowledge, how to take care of itself
    as independent as possible.

  9. Lockdowns were supposedly temporary measures (2-3 weeks) to keep hospitals from being overrun by patients while a vaccine was being developed.
    It seems that some countries (Australia, Thailand, New Zealand) plan to keep them as their primary means of Covid control, along with permanently sealed borders.

  10. @Buttaxe -“Theres enough evidence out there now that it makes little difference”. Really? This type of opaque bs comment isn’t helpful and qualifies as fake news. It’s something in your head and you can’t even articulate it to the rest of us.

    There is no country in the world, except maybe Israel, that hasn’t been criticized for its vaccine rollout. That includes the USA early this year. Australia will eventually speed up just like the USA did.

    Other countries such as Thailand had a good record of low infections until it got out of control beginning in April. Australia wants to avoid a Thai situation where it gets out of control and then they shut down everything. They’re going for shutting it down before it becomes as bad as Thailand which no one is praising. Someone’s always going to complain in a situation like this. Letting it spread will not be appreciated by Australians even though Buttaxe and Robin Banks would be pleased. Robin, people that respond to your attempt to shame usually make poor decisions. I doubt you have balls with a name like Robin.

  11. Nearly every country has NOT recognized this is no longer a pandemic. It is now endemic, and lockdowns do not kill the virus. Vaccines will prevent deaths, burdens on the health services, and the overall economic impact

  12. “is that honestly Australia’s MO going forward for ever?”

    Yes, @stu, and the overwhelming majority of Aussies ae happy with it because IT WORKS.

    For most of the time they can get on with a completely normal life that most of the rest of the world can only dream about: concerts, sports, schools, bars, beaches – everything’s normal.

    In return, very occasionally a minority have to have a limited, brief lockdown and overseas travel is strictly limited.

    Most Aussies see that as a small price to pay.

  13. “Anyone in Hotel quarantine that tests positive is immediately moved to the infectious diseases unit of one of our major hospitals and isolated”

    Just like Thailand!

    Correct me if I’m wrong, @Jason, but AFAIK that also applies there to anyone testing positive anytime, not just in hotel quarantine?

  14. “Government opposition is calling for a complete overhaul of the mass vaccination systems.”

    The vaccine roll out has been desperately slow, little better than Thailand’s, but to some extent it’s for the same reason as they’re trying to be self-sufficient by producing their own AZ vaccine under licence. Like Thailand, but possibly for different reasons, they put off buying anything else from anyone else until there’s little left available.

  15. Dan the Despot strikes again!! The idiot hasn’t heard t5he news from 6 months ago that lockdowns are counterproductive and a bloody pain in the arse for everybody! Wake up you bloody drongo and leave people alone.
    Maybe everybody should just say “screw you” and ignore his cruel and unusual punishment! Rebellion is in the air!!

Leave a Reply