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Emergency extended

A State of Emergency in Victoria will continue for another four weeks to give the State Government the powers it needs to keep slowing the spread of coronavirus.

Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed the State of Emergency declared last month would extend until midnight May 11, 2020 to continue measures designed to ‘flatten the curve’ of coronavirus and give the health system the best chance of managing the virus.

The State of Emergency was originally due to expire on April 13.

Under a State of Emergency, Authorised Officers, at the direction of the Chief Health Officer, can act to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health by detaining people, restricting movement, preventing entry to premises, or providing any other direction an AO considers reasonable to protect public health.

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Mr Andrews said the month-long extension would ensure the government could continue its strict enforcement of social distancing, isolation and other vital directions put in place by the Chief Health Officer.

“While we are starting to see some improvement in the rate of transmission, now is not the time for complacency,” Mr Andrews said.

“We still have a long way to go. If we relax now, the virus will start spreading quickly and our health system will be overwhelmed.

“We thank Victorians who are doing the right thing by staying at home, but we must keep at it to save lives. Our message to Victorians hasn’t changed: Stay home. Protect our health system. Save lives.

“There are only four reasons to leave your home: food and supplies, medical care and caregiving, exercise, and work or education.

“Police have strong powers to enforce these directions and can issue on-the-spot fines, including up to $1652 for individuals and up to $9913 for businesses.”

Under the State of Emergency people who don’t comply could also face court and receive a fine of up to $20,000. Companies face fines of up to $100,000.

Since March 28 Victoria Police has had 19,303 spot checks at homes, businesses and non-essential services across the state and issued more than 900 fines.

“There are positive signs our efforts are working – but if we relax now, our hard-won gains will evaporate and people will die,” Mr Andrews said.

The official total number of coronavirus cases in Victoria is 1269, an increase of three from yesterday.

Wimmera-Mallee cases: Horsham, three; Northern Grampians, three; Ararat, one; West

Wimmera, one; Yarriambiack, one; Hindmarsh, none; Buloke, none.

Neighbouring shire cases: Pyrenees, none; Southern Grampians, two; Moyne, one; Glenelg, none; Corangamite, one; Mildura, five; Swan Hill, three; Gannawarra, three; Loddon, three; Ballarat, 10; Golden Plains, one; Colac-Otway, none; Bendigo, nine; Warrnambool, five; Hepburn 2.

Most shire cases statewide: Stonnington 88; Banyule 80; Borooondara 60; Greater Geelong 60; Moroondara 60; Greater Geelong 60; Melbourne 55; Mornington Peninsula 55; Casey 49; Moreland 49; Glen Eira 46; Port Phillip 45; Monash 42; Frankston 36; Moonee Valley 36; Hume 34; Darebin 32; Brimbank 31; Bayside 29; Wyndham 27; Manningham 26; Yarra 23; Kingston 22; Whitehorse 22; Whittlesea 22; Nillumbik 21; Yarra Ranges 21; Melton, 18; Greater Dandenong 15; Hobsons Bay 13; Knox 12; Cardinia 11; Moira 11; Maribyrnong 10; Surf Cost 10; Wellington, 10.

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