News

The Melbourne News You Need To Know Today

By Simon Cassar
13th Jan 2022

On a quiet day, It can be tough keeping up with the latest coming out of Australia's cultural capital, especially so in a post-2020 world, and that's why this piece of content exists.

Save yourself from sifting through the noise and keep on top of the things you need to know. This is the latest news—nothing less, nothing more—coming out of Melbourne.

Update: Thursday 13 January

In a press conference earlier today, State Premier Daniel Andrews announced further changes to close contact rules for critical workers. Workers in the food and drink distribution sector have previously been granted an exemption to return to work if they were a close contact but asymptomatic, and now, those in emergency services, education, transport and freight, critical utilities and custodial facilities like prisons have also been added to that list.

Under the new rules, these workers must return a negative RAT test before arriving at work, and they'll only be allowed to return to work if their attendance is essential for the given operation to continue.

These rules come into effect on Tuesday 18 January at 11:59pm.

Update: Monday 10 January

Several new restrictions have been introduced in Victoria following another day of increasing COVID-19 cases. Announced by Health Minister Martin Foley earlier today, the restrictions will see changes to how some hospitality venues operate, as well as changes to the aged care industry. Here's what you need to know:

  • Indoor dancefloors to shut from 11:59pm Wednesday 12 January, with a recommendation that hospitality venues in Victoria operate seating service only.
  • Aged care workers must have their third COVID-19 vaccination by Tuesday 1 March to continue working.
  • Healthcare workers must have their third COVID-19 vaccination by Tuesday 29 March, or by Saturday 12 February if eligible for their third dose.
  • Anyone visiting an aged care centre must take a rapid test prior and return a negative result before entering. The same applies to visitors to hospitals.

Update: Thursday 6 January 

With cases rising rapidly the flow-on effects to Victoria's hospitality scene are starting to show cracks. After an absolute marathon of Christmas and New Year's events, cafes, restaurants and bars are reeling with the majority of their rosters decimated due to staff either testing positive to COVID-19 or in isolation as close contacts.

Today the Victorian Government also addressed the situation by introducing density limits at all hospitality venues with one person per two square metres introduced as of Thursday 11.59pm. Going forward, the same positive PCR rules also apply to anyone that returns a positive result to a rapid antigen test. 

Speaking to Easey's owner and operator, Jimmy Hurlston, he detailed the dire situation that many businesses are suffering under; "out of 40 staff I've got about 36 either in isolation or with COVID". The decision to close the venue was not one taken lightly, but Jimmy and the team's hands were tied. "Easey's is a big kitchen, we have two dining areas, I'm at a point where it's only me and about three or four of my staff, and they need a break," said Jimmy. 

Going forward you can expect bookings to be altered, delayed and or cancelled. We must be understanding towards staff and the hospitality community; we're all in this one together. Again. 

Get the latest information at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

Update: Tuesday 8 December

The Gemenoid meteor shower is coming to a sky near you as early as this weekend. From Sunday 12 December to Wednesday 15 December, stargazers can expect up to 150 meteors an hour in the right conditions, and unlike some meteor showers, The Gemenoid won't need any telescopes or equipment to witness the show. As with all meteor showers, you're going to get the best results from little to no light pollution in the sky above you, and you'll ideally want to be gazing during the peak of the evening between midnight and 3am.

Update: Monday 6 December

Today, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Queensland's borders will reopen to hotspots around Australia including Victoria, New South Wales, Greater Adelaide and the Australian Capital Territory on Monday 13 December. Those wishing to travel into the sunshine state and hoping to avoid quarantine will need to be fully vaccinated; you'll need to take a COVID test within 72 hours before your arrival and present a negative result, and you'll need to take a second test on day five of your time in Queensland. 

And for the unvaccinated: you'll only be allowed to travel into Queensland by air, and you'll need to undertake 14 days of hotel quarantine.

 

Stay up to date with food & bev news from around the state here.

Image credit: Weyne Yew

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