Victoria has closed its border with South Australia despite the state recording zero new coronavirus cases on the first day of their six-day hard lockdown.
The state was plunged into into one of the world’s harshest lockdowns at midnight on Wednesday to combat a ‘particularly sneaky’ and ‘highly contagious’ mutation of COVID-19 in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the border will shut between the two states for 48 hours from midnight on Thursday.
A permit system will then come in from midnight on Saturday and will be enforced for two weeks.
South Australia has recorded zero new coronavirus cases on the first day of their six-day hard lockdown. Pictured: South Australian residents line up in their cars at 8am at Adelaide’s largest Covid-19 testing station in Victoria Park
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall speaks to the media on Thursday as his state is plunged into lockdown
WHAT IS CLOSED:
Universities and all schools except for children of essential workers and vulnerable children
Pubs, cafes, coffee shops, food courts and takeaway food
Elective surgery except for urgent operations and cancer treatment
Open inspections and auctions for real estate
All outdoor sport and physical activity
Regional travel is not approved
Aged care and disability residential care will be an lockdown
Factories other than food and medical products will be closed except for where it is necessary for them to remain open to prevent damage to machinery
The construction industry
Holiday homes will not be available for lease or rental
Weddings and funerals
Masks will be required in all areas outside the home
Only one person per household once a day is allowed to access groceries
The only people able to cross the border are freight drivers, or those needing urgent medical attention or for animal welfare.
More details are expected to be released on the permit system which will include agriculture workers, emergency and essential workers, and those seeking urgent supplies.
‘It will be in place no longer than it needs to be, we just all have to be as cautious as possible,’ Mr Andrews said on Thursday.
‘Victorians have worked too hard and given too much to allow anything to put at risk our goal of reaching COVID Normal by Christmas. We’ll do whatever it takes to keep Victorians safe.’
Victoria has gone 20 days without any new COVID-19 infections.
Victoria Police will set up checkpoints on roads between the states as part of the ‘hard border’.
The closure to South Australia marks the first time Victoria shut its borders to another state since the start of the pandemic.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the border will shut between the two states for 48 hours from midnight on Thursday
David Baldino, 36 and Jessabeau Thompson, 27, rushed to say ‘I do’ at Adelaide Botanic Gardens on Wednesday, just hours before the new restrictions come into effect
The Parafield cluster in South Australia increased to 23 confirmed cases on Wednesday. There were no additional infections reported on Thursday morning.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said there are an additional 17 suspected cases.
Premier Steven Marshall stood by his state’s lockdown, stating that ‘time was of the essence’.
‘The lessons of surging infections in Victoria and other parts of the world have been learnt,’ Mr Marshall said.
‘Indecision plays into the hands of this virus.
‘COVID-19 is highly infectious, extremely dangerous and very difficult to eradicate once it gets a foothold in a community.
‘So we need this circuit-breaker, this breathing space for a contact tracing blitz.’
Mr Marshall said SA contact tracing teams were working around the clock to track down people who may have been infected.
He also praised the thousands of South Australians who flocked to testing stations over the past two days with more than 20,000 swabs taken.
At the centre of the outbreak is the Woodville Pizza Bar, where an infected medi-hotel security guard had a second job making pizzas.
There is an urgent health alert for diners and residents who ordered takeaway at the restaurant from November 6 to November 16.
WHAT REMAINS OPEN:
- Critical infrastructure including water, power and telecommunications
- Supermarkets will remain open to provide access to food and essential product. There will be specific access for vulnerable members of the community to ensure that they can access goods and services
- Medical services including for mental health
- Public transport
- The airport and freight services including career services
- Petrol stations, access to financial institutions and post offices
- Mining, smelting and large factories will be able to remain open but only those parts of the facilities that will need to operate to ensure continuity of service delivery or to prevent damage to the plant
- Childcare will be available only for families of essential workers
- Minimum operations of government including local government will be permitted to operate
- Veterinary surgeons
The mutation has a very short incubation period of 24 hours or less and SA Health have observed a number of COVID-19 positive patients with little symptoms or none at all.
The lockdown measures to combat the second wave will be among the toughest in the world, along with countries such as Argentina, Israel and Venezuela.
All schools closed along with universities, pubs, cafes, food courts and even takeaway food outlets.
Regional travel is banned and visitors will be locked out of aged care centres and residents are unable to leave.
Factories are shut, along with the construction industry, and elective surgery has been halted.
Weddings and funerals are banned along with all outdoor sport and exercise.
Residents are required to wear masks outside the home.
Pictured: Residents in face masks walk in Adelaide on the first day of lockdown on Thursday
Pictured: Residents in Adelaide wait in their cars for a coronavirus swab on Thursday
People are only allowed to leave their homes once each day to buy groceries or to seek medical treatment.
Supermarkets, petrol stations, medical centres, critical infrastructure, public transport, airport and freight services, banks, post offices, school and childcare for essential workers and veterinary services remain open.
With weddings banned as of midnight, SA couples scrambled to tie the knot before the clock struck 12.
David Baldino, 36 and Jessabeau Thompson, 27, rushed to say ‘I do’ at Adelaide Botanic Gardens on Wednesday, just hours before the new restrictions come into effect.
The pair were initially going to get married on April 11, but were forced to reschedule for this Saturday due to the first COVID-19 wave.
‘We weren’t going to rearrange again, we have to move on with the rest of our lives,’ Mr Baldino told Adelaide Now before their 7pm emergency ceremony.
David and Jessabeau were initially set to get married on April 11, but were forced to reschedule for this Saturday due to the first COVID-19 wave
Pictured: Police on the lookout in Adelaide CBD as six-day lockdown begins on Thursday
‘The [ban] still was a shock to us… it’s just unbelievable for it to happen twice to us.
‘But it is what it is, as long as we’re doing our part to keep everyone safe that’s the important thing.’
The couple said they will wait for restrictions to be completely eased before holding their wedding reception at the National Wine Centre with 165 guests.
Meanwhile, a woman and her terminally ill mother had to give up on their bucket list holiday to Queensland after the Sunshine State slammed their borders shut to SA.
Deb Duncan was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and hoped to go on a final getaway with her daughter Bo.
The pair arrived in Cairns on Sunday morning, only to wake up to a text on Monday from Queensland Health instructing them to quarantine for 14 days.
‘Straight away we were in the mode of trying to get home, but how are you supposed to get home if you’re supposed to be in quarantine for two weeks?’ Ms Duncan told the ABC.
Pictured: A general view of Adelaide CBD in South Australia on Thursday
Ms Duncan is desperate to get home before Monday to receive the next dose of a drug for her cancer treatment.
‘Mum got a note from her oncologist saying that she had to be returned [home] immediately but we couldn’t get hold of anyone to find out what was going on,’ Bo Duncan said.
The mother and daughter both tested negative to the virus on Tuesday, but the doctor who took the tests told them to return to their hotel and quarantine.
The Duncans were forced to fork out $4,000 for emergency flights home so Deb can get treatment.
‘We had to – if it was any other circumstance we would have stayed here, but mum needs her medication, she needs her treatment,’ Bo said.
Some health experts have expressed doubt on whether the short, harsh shutdown will work.
‘It’s slightly on the short side,’ Dean of the School of Health Sciences at Swinburne University Professor Bruce Thompson told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
‘We know the incubation period is roughly four or five days … however it can be as long as 14 days.’
‘If you’re only aiming for one incubation period you’ve sort of lost your margin of error.’
The sudden lockdown has also caused ‘turmoil’ for the trucking industry by landing hundreds of truck drivers on the Victorian border out of work for at least the next six days.
Bo Duncan and her terminally ill mother Deb have had to give up on their bucket list holiday to Queensland after the Sunshine State slammed their borders shut to SA
‘The whole trucking industry is in turmoil,’ Brian Williamson, managing director of PortHaul, told The Age.
The woodchip mills that the company hauls to must now close, and SA truck drivers who travel into Victoria have been ordered to stay home.
‘It’s ludicrous. Hundreds of trucks are just going to be parked up. There’s no alternative work for these vehicles and their drivers,’ he said.
‘But it’s not just going to be woodchip trucks along the border – imagine how many trucks leave Adelaide for Perth and Sydney and Melbourne every day.’
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the six-day period would be followed by another eight days of continuing restrictions.
The outbreak was sparked by a woman who worked as a cleaner in the Peppers Hotel, one of Adelaide’s quarantine facilities, who may have picked up the virus from a surface and then infected other family members.
Genetic testing has linked her case back to a traveller who returned from Britain on November 2.
Adelaide residents have started panic-buying in supermarkets after Premier Steven Marshall announced a six-day coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: People line up outside Coles at Plympton
Panic-buying erupts across South Australia as the state goes into covid lockdown with fears supermarkets could run out of stock
BY CHARLIE MOORE FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
As it was announced at about 1pm, Woolworths and Coles stores rapidly filled up with long queues as residents stocked up on food and supplies.
South Australia police chief Grant Stevens said panic buying was not necessary but admitted he expected it to happen.
Shoppers stocked up on food at as soon as the announcement was made. Pictured: Woolworths at Cumberland Park, Adelaide
Lines of shoppers desperate to stock up were seen outside several stores around the South Australian capital. Pictured: Woolworths at Cumberland Park, Adelaide
Adelaide residents have started panic-buying in supermarkets after Premier Steven Marshall announced a six-day coronavirus lockdown
He has put police on ‘stand-by’ to deal with any ‘civil disorder’ at stores.
‘I don’t think people will listen and I do think people will flood the supermarkets,’ he said.
‘If you are going shopping, think about other people, treat each other with respect and kindness, we are all in the same boat and think of those who are working on the supermarkets, doing it tough and they will be inundated over the next few days and if we have to take action to protect those people, then we will do so.’
Premier Marshall urged residents not to panic buy, saying: ‘There is no point going off to the supermarket this afternoon.
‘Supermarkets and the supply lines will be remaining open.’
Woolworths and Coles stores rapidly filled up with long queues as residents stocked up on food and supplies. Pictured: Empty shelves in Adelaide