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Daniel Andrews makes Victorians wait to learn when lockdown will end

Daniel Andrews will make Victorians wait another day to find out when the state’s fifth lockdown will end, as 11 more cases were recorded.

The Victorian premier told reporters on Sunday morning that health experts will have to look at the number of new infections on Monday before they decide whether restrictions will be eased on Tuesday, as planned.

‘Hopefully we could be in a position to ease some of these restrictions and rules from midnight on Tuesday, but we need to see what tomorrow’s numbers look like,’ he said.

He also described the highly-contagious Indian Delta variant as ‘a wholly new enemy’ that was harder to battle and needed extra caution.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton slammed everyone who threw a ‘self-indulgent tantrum’ by attending Melbourne’s anti-lockdown ‘super-spreader’ protest on Saturday.

Daniel Andrews would not say whether Victorians will be out of lockdown by Tuesday, as planned

‘It’s very frustrating at this critical point in time,’ he said. 

Police made six arrests in the city and are hunting for a protester who allegedly threw a large bollard at a mounted officer.

The charges stemming from that protest included drug possession and refusing to provide contact details to police and at least one was charged with assaulting an emergency worker.

A further 70 demonstrators in Melbourne face fines but police believe that number will increase.

When asked if the lockdown will be extended as a result of the rally, Mr Sutton said it depended on whether new cases arise as a result.

Pictured: A man being arrested at the ‘Freedom Rally’ in Melbourne on Saturday 

Pictured: Police firing pepper spray at demonstrator marching against lockdown in Melbourne on Saturday

Pictured: A woman being held by police during anti-lockdown marches on Saturday in Melbourne

Mr Andrews lambasted demonstrators for being ‘selfish’ and ‘self-indulgent’.

‘I do not believe [the protest] will fundamentally change things, but I would not want to be read as it sort of encouragement for people to go out there and do it,’ he said.

‘No one is entitled to put other people at risk.’

He said the Delta strain is the ‘deadliest’ variant yet and took a subtle jab at Sydney for recording hundreds of cases per day – many of which are not linked to known clusters.

About 3,500 people stormed the streets in Sydney CBD on Saturday in anti-lockdown protests, which are being labelled by health authorities as a potential ‘super-spreader’ event. 

When asked if the lockdown will be extended as a result of the rally, Mr Sutton (pictured) said it depends on whether new cases arise as a result

‘If you look at Sydney, you’ve got hospitals full of 40 -year-olds in hospitals – protest are not a smart thing to do. They are the wrong thing to do,’ he said.

‘I cannot predict whether it will have a material impact or not, but I will take some comfort from the fact that our cases are linked, it has not got out of control, is not gone wild, because contact traces and Victorians are doing a fantastic job.’ 

Mr Sutton said ‘several’ of the state’s 179 cases are in hospital, two are in intensive care, and one is on a ventilator.

All new cases recorded on Sunday were in quarantine throughout their period of infection, and they are all linked to current outbreaks. 

Victoria managed to administer 17,370 vaccine doses in the 24 hours to Sunday, with 32,385 virus tests conducted for the same period. 

Pictured: Young and Jacksons pub was listed on Flinders Street was listed as an exposure site

The state recorded 12 new locally acquired cases on Saturday, 10 of them in quarantine throughout their entire infectious period and also all linked to current outbreaks.

The numbers continue an encouraging downward trend in new diagnoses after 14 cases were reported on Friday and 26 on Thursday.

Prof Sutton introduced a new travel designation for NSW late on Friday, making the whole state an ‘extreme risk zone’ backdated to July 9.

This makes it difficult for Victorians in NSW to come home unless they get a rare exemption or have a Specified Worker Permit.

‘It’s very strict in terms of the movement of people across the border,’ he said.

Asked on Saturday whether Victoria could expect an easing of its own restrictions on Tuesday, as scheduled, Prof Sutton said the signs were positive but he declined to commit to it.

Health Minister Martin Foley insists the risk designation of NSW is a natural progression of attempts to protect Victoria and not to do with Premier Daniel Andrews’ call for a ‘ring of steel’ blockade around Sydney.

He also moved on Saturday to hose down the idea of tensions with NSW over a lack of willingness to redirect vaccines to Sydney’s virus-ridden suburbs.

Pictured: A man in an animal print onsie walking down Degraves Street in Melbourne on Friday

Mr Foley said Victoria and other states had ‘legitimate demands’ on scarce vaccines for July and August which had already been allocated to them based on population.

However he welcomed recent reports of spare Pfizer doses in the national stockpile and said he’d be happy for those to be sent to NSW.

Meanwhile an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne on Saturday was brought to a violent end as police used pepper spray to clear the crowd.

Thousands of protesters of all ages chanted ‘freedom’ as they gathered outside Victoria’s Parliament House.

‘We can all argue the merits or otherwise of various approaches to managing transmission, but let’s not pretend that ‘marching for freedom’ will actually deliver the precious freedom that we all need and desire,’ Prof Sutton later tweeted.

As of Saturday, more than 22,000 Victorians were listed as primary close contacts isolating at home, while about 2500 MCG contacts were preparing to be released from 14 days of confinement.

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