Next suburbs facing lockdown revealed

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Victorian residents bordering lockdown hot spots could also be targeted as coronavirus cases continue to spike.

A testing blitz has revealed that four postcodes in Melbourne’s north – 3064, 3047, 3031 and 3060 – have the highest number of positive cases.

But 3031, covering Flemington and Kensington, was not locked down unlike neighbouring suburbs earlier this week.

Premier Daniel Andrews warned on Friday that the lockdowns would be expanded if coronavirus cases continued to spike.

“I can’t rule out further restrictions and we certainly can’t rule out other postcodes,” he said.

“(Decisions) are done by case numbers in geographical area – that’s not a matter of running a commentary on that postcode or the people who live in and work there.

“It’s simply a statement of fact that you’ve got a problem, and you need to take really significant action to pull this up.

“I’m simply saying you can’t rule that out because we’re being driven by the data.”

Authorities also revealed that despite an unprecedented push, 10,000 people in the hotspot zones had refused to be tested.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said “some people believe that coronavirus is a conspiracy, or that it won’t impact on them.”

“What I want to stress here is that coronavirus is a very contagious virus,” she said.

“It can go through your family very quickly.”

Police have fined seven people from hot spots – who can only leave their home to buy food, for care and compassion, exercise or work and study – for breaching the lockdown.

They included a female from a coronavirus hotspot was also fined after she was found armed with a hammer in the CBD, telling officers she was “just chilling” with friends.

Businesses in postcode 3031 were yesterday preparing for the prospect of a lockdown, which would force cafes and restaurants to return to takeaway only.

Jonathon Vaneekelen, who manages The Premises cafe, said while the harsh restrictions might be necessary, it was frustrating for businesses that had already suffered months of hardship.

“We’ve just gotten back to normal and going back again would be hard,” he said.

“We’ve hired new people on to fill the gaps of the people we lost.

“So it’s like what do we do? Do we say come back in a month? It’s putting people out – but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do sometimes.”

The bizarre impact of the restrictions was on display at Showgrounds Village shopping centre on Friday, where residents from locked down Ascot Vale and unrestricted Flemington shopped at a supermarket together.

Flemington resident Mary Siotas, 54, said she was worried a clampdown on her suburb was coming.

“The biggest fear for me is that I care for my parents so getting to them and making sure I’m clean is the biggest thing for me,” she said.

“It does concern me — hence the mask. I didn’t really wear it the first time around … I didn’t feel I needed it.

“The second time around it seems to be a bit more (concerning) and more community transmission this time as well, so it’s best to be safe.”

Ascot Vale resident Francis Lipscombe, 62, donned a mask and gloves while supermarket shopping.

“I think it’s frustrating and disappointing that we’re back here (in lockdown),” she said.

Woolworths started sending nurses to supermarkets in hotspot areas on Friday to conduct compulsory temperature checks on staff.

Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director, Claire Peters said those from hotspot areas should reconsider shopping in person.

“If you’re in a hotspot area, we would encourage you to consider doing your grocery shopping online if possible,” Ms Peters said.

It comes as other Australian states and territories ramp up efforts to stop Victorians from hotspot areas entry.

Queensland will check freight and heavy vehicles for any hidden Victorians attempting to be smuggled into the Sunshine State.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said those caught would be slapped with fines and forced into hotel quarantine at their own cost.

“What we say to everyone out there is, if you are thinking about doing it, don’t do it,” she said.

“Trucks will also be randomly stopped and if you are a truck driver participating in this you will also get fined as well.”

NSW has also increased border patrols as a man, in his late 50s, who travelled from one of the hot spots to Sydney was placed in hotel quarantine.

Authorities described his plan to enter the state using a licence XXX as “half-baked”.

And two Victorian men, a 23-year-old from Tarneit and an 18-year-old from Delahey, were caught allegedly trying to sneak into South Australia twice in 12 hours.

They were initially turned around by police at the border town of Senior, before their Volkswagen van was later found bogged attempting to enter the state through back roads.

Among new cases in Victoria on Friday were two staff at Northern Hospital in Epping.

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