— Travel n Tour

Melbourne emerges from coronavirus lockdown though Victoria remains on edge


Victoria’s latest COVID-19 challenge is far from over, despite the end of the Melbourne lockdown and the further easing of regional restrictions.

As the relaxed rules took effect at midnight on Thursday, health authorities were trying to work out how four members of a Melbourne family with no known links to current outbreaks tested positive for the virus.

Victorian health officials had started interviewing a couple late on Thursday after they traveled through NSW to Queensland and tested positive, sparking health alerts in those states.

Also on Thursday, wastewater detections of the virus were reported in the suburban Pascoe Vale, Scoresby, and Vermont areas.

Anyone developing symptoms in those areas is urged to get tested.

And six more public exposure sites were added for Bundoora, Heidelberg, and Thomastown in Melbourne, dating from 28 May to 7 June.

While the easing of restrictions went as planned, Melburnians must continue wearing masks indoors and outdoors.

Initially, masks were no longer compulsory outdoors so long as social distancing was maintained.

Thursday’s four new cases are from the same Reservoir household in Melbourne’s north.


They were a man in his 80s, a woman in her 70s, a man in his 50s, and a man in his 20s.

One of the family members is on a disability pension, and another is a registered carer for them.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said the family was not in close contact with previous cases and hadn’t visited any listed exposure sites. However, they live close to the City of Whittlesea outbreak.

“These new cases are the strongest reminder that we are by no means out of the woods yet,” Prof Cheng said.

Authorities were also awaiting genomic testing to see if they have the Delta or Kappa strain of the virus.

Their close contacts are self-isolating, and some have already returned negative tests.

Anxious wait for coronavirus tests in Queensland

Meanwhile, the couple who drove to Queensland remains under investigation, and it is unclear how they caught the virus.

The woman left Melbourne with her husband on 1 June, when the city was in lockdown, and tested positive at the end of a road trip through NSW and Queensland.

Her husband has also tested positive, although it appears they are late in their infection period.

For this reason, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has expressed optimism that community transmission might be avoided.

“That means the risk of transmission to anyone else is less,” she said Thursday.

It remains unclear whether they infected anyone in NSW or Queensland. Queensland Health has identified 17 close contacts of the couple, but so far, only results for three of them.

They’ve been negative, including the infected woman’s parents, with whom the couple stayed at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast.

About 400 people in Queensland have been forced into isolation and are getting tested due to the couple’s arrival on Saturday.

They have visited sites in Goondiwindi, Toowoomba, and the southern Sunshine Coast.

Queensland health authorities said the couple did not apply for a travel exemption to enter the state.

There are 78 active cases across the state, down five from Wednesday.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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