Amid a surging number of new coronavirus cases, Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews reportedly said that the Australian state will implement mandatory tests for returning travellers. Over the past weeks, Victoria has been reporting double-digit rises. As per reports, on June 28, the state also recorded 49 new COVID-19 cases, which is the highest in more than two months.
While addressing the daily news briefing, Andrews said that putting COVID-19 out is ‘challenging’. He further said that, however, containing the deadly virus is something that the state can do and therefore test and trace is the most effective thing to do. While the country eased lockdown restrictions, several officials last week complained that 30 per cent of returning travellers refused a COVID-19 test. In a bid to curb the spread any further, Andrews said that travellers returning have to get themselves tested as it is ‘mandatory procedure’.
Australia also requires all locals who return to the nation to quarantine in hotels for two weeks. Meanwhile, Andrews said that people in self-isolation will be tested twice, first one day three and then on day 11 of their two-week quarantine period. He further warned that those who refuse testing will be required to remain the isolation for a further 10 days.
Victoria’s neighbouring state New South Wales also implemented a similar measure on Friday. With an increasing number of cases, Australia’s second-most populous state last week also extended its state of emergency to July 19. The state premier also reimposed lockdown measures and reduced the outdoor gathering from a 20-person cap to 10. He also informed that homes would also only be allowed a maximum of five visitors.
With recent outbreaks in parts of the country, the Australian military has also been called in to help tackle the sudden rise. Australia had successfully curbed the virus spread but the recent surge has triggered fear of another wave due to apparent community transmission. Health Minister Greg Hunt reportedly said that the federal government had offered military support to help tackle the fresh outbreak and other four states offered to help with contact tracing.