This is difficult, but essential.
Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday laid bare the government's concerns that unless the state acted swiftly, we could be in far greater trouble than we already were as he acknowledged the state had once again lost its grip on the spread of COVID-19 and would need to enter a harsh five day lockdown from 11:59pm Friday.
As he outlined cabinet's decision to implement the severe lockdown on all of Victoria, Mr Andrews did not look to spare Victorians from the concern that unless the community got on top of this latest outbreak, it would remain with us until the state's vaccination program was completed. As a result, regional Victorians now find themselves facing five days of the most severe lockdown rules we have encountered since the state of emergency was declared.
There's no doubt struggling traders who might have just thought the worst of this all was behind them probably now feel like it's back to square one. But we must remain hopeful that just as other short, sharp lockdowns introduced elsewhere seem to have had a positive impact on containing the virus spread, so too will this one.
From early yesterday morning, it seemed an announcement on lockdown was imminent, as news of the scale of the potential exposure that had occurred at a Melbourne airport café sunk in. Without that development, it may well have been a line ball decision but the Holiday Inn outbreak had already seriously undermined confidence in our ability to contain the virus.
So for now, and until 11:59pm Wednesday we have returned to restrictions not unlike those regional Victorians experienced in August, save for the introduction of the five kilometre rule that prohibits us from venturing beyond this limit, unless otherwise exempted.
But given what we have endured and how much we all coveted the freedoms we gained from cooperating under earlier lockdowns, Victorians know what is required of them and what we should do to help one another through this latest chapter in the crisis that has been our constant companion for too long.
If you or someone you know needs urgent support, contact: