Melbourne lockdown extended, new border rules in place as Victoria records 20 COVID cases

Victoria has recorded 20 new COVID-19 cases as metropolitan Melbourne has had its lockdown extended by seven days.

Permits will now also be required for those needing to move around in the NSW-Victorian border bubble.

Of the 20 new cases, 15 have been linked to outbreaks and five remain under investigation. Fourteen were in isolation while infectious.

The entire state was plunged into a seven-day lockdown on Thursday last week, scheduled to end tomorrow night.

However, regional Victoria was granted an early exemption, with the heaviest restrictions eased after just four days.

Melbourne will remain in lockdown until 11.59pm next Thursday, August 19.

The NSW-Victorian border will also see a change to movement restrictions, while the current six reasons to move within the bubble haven't change a permit will also now be required.

The permits will be needed from 1pm Thursday (August 12) but won't be enforced until 6pm Friday (August 13).

"If this virus can get from Sydney to Byron Bay, to Dubbo, to Armidale, to Tamworth then only a fool would think it can't get to Albury. It absolutely can," Premier Daniel Andrews said.

"The inconvenience of having to get a permit is nothing compared to being locked down."

Mr Andrews said "there are too many cases - the origins of which are not clear to us - too many unanswered questions and too many mysteries for us to safely come out of lockdown".

Latest data shows Warrnambool in Victoria's south west is leading the charge with vaccinations in the state, with 2.9 per cent of first doses administered this week.

So far 54.5 per cent of the population over 15 have received a first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

READ MORE:

Second dose rates grew to 27.5 per cent, surpassing Melbourne's inner-south at 26.8 per cent and sitting behind Bendigo (28.9 per cent) and Geelong (30.3 per cent).

The news comes as Warrnambool's vaccine rollout steps up to another gear, with people aged between18 and 39 able to receive an AstraZeneca vaccination at the mass vaccination hub from today.

There are 1700 more close contacts linked to the current outbreak, bringing the number to 13,800.

Victoria recorded 20 new local cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, all of which were linked to known outbreaks and five were in quarantine throughout their infectious period.

There are some 12,000 people self-isolating after coming into contact with an infected case, while the exposure site list grew to almost 300 overnight, including a second housing tower in Flemington.

Of greatest concern to authorities is Caroline Springs Square Shopping Centre, where half of Tuesday's new cases contracted the virus, including two people who may have caught the virus through "fleeting transmission".

Late on Tuesday, health authorities instructed all staff who worked at the shopping centre between August 2 and 5 to immediately get tested and quarantine for 14 days.

Several bus and train routes near the shopping centre have also been listed as exposure sites.

A doctor who works at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital was also among the new cases.

However, the hospital said the doctor was not infectious while working at the hospital.

See the exposure sites here:

They worked at private medical rooms next door to the hospital at 48 Flemington Road on Monday.

With daily cases still in the double-digits and the majority not isolating during their infectious period, it's likely lockdown will be extended.

Authorities have refused to rule out an extension to the lockdown, with Health Minister Martin Foley saying decisions were being made on an "hour-by-hour basis".

This story Melbourne lockdown extended, new border rules in place as Vic records 20 COVID cases first appeared on The Standard.