Melbourne’s fourth lockdown was supposed to finish last Thursday. After a week of restrictions, Melburnians were supposed to have their freedoms restored. But on Thursday, the state of Victoria, which is home to 6.6million people, recorded nine new cases of community transmission.
This brought the total number of Covid cases in Victoria’s cluster to 54. Instead of relaxing restrictions, the Victoria state government extended the lockdown for another week at least. So far it has not said what thresholds need to be met for the lockdown to be lifted.
Many politicians and commentators in the UK have praised Australia’s approach to Covid. They argue that the UK should follow Australian states’ lead, and lock down hard and early with each new outbreak. It seems they want the UK to follow Australia’s Zero Covid strategy.
They should be careful what they wish for. We Melburnians know the reality of Zero Covid: we are currently locked in our homes 22 hours a day for another week because of six new local cases. This is no way to live. But, unfortunately, it is the way we will have to live for a long time to come.