Lockdown splits region

police covid- border checkpoints- Kalkallo (Joe Mastroianni). 211041_01

Ewen McRae

By Ewen McRae

Police are out in force as the lockdown of metropolitan Melbourne saw Melton and Moorabool divided from last week.

While Melton joins the rest of metropolitan Melbourne in returning to stage 3 lockdown measures, Moorabool is exempt, meaning police and ADF personnel are monitoring major arterial roads between the two municipalities to ensure any travel from one region to the other is legitimate.

Booze buses have been deployed to road stops and checkpoints to monitor traffic flow, and police will use automatic number plate recognition to scan registration details and identify the residential addresses of licence holders.

Residents within the Melton municipality can now only leave their homes for four reasons: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and work or study – if it can’t be done from home.

Moorabool mayor David Edwards said while the shire was not in lockdown, residents had to remain vigilant and minimise any travel into the metropolitan region.

“We are fortunate that we are not in lockdown, but with that comes some serious concerns,“ Cr Edwards said.

“There are many people within our shire that need to leave our boundaries to go to work, and I ask that you follow the advice given by the state government.

“If you can work from home please do so. Whilst we are not in lockdown I think it’s very important that we head that advice and continue wherever possible to not go into these areas and bring back the virus and risk the lives of our family and friends.“

Moorabool remains virus free, while Melton’s numbers improved, with 19 active cases in the municipality as of July 9.

The state government also announced daily temperature checks would be conducted on students attending school from next week, with infared thermometers to be sent to every school within the locked down region.

If a student has a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or above, schools will be required to contact parents or carers to arrange for students to return home.

Families will then be encouraged to seek testing for coronavirus or the advice of their healthcare professional who can advise on next steps.