Victorian Virus Hotspots Identified; Pubs, Cafes, Restaurants Badly Affected.

Up to six COVID-19 hotspots in Melbourne have been listed for isolation but it is unclear whether local lockdowns could be imposed.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee on June 21 said Victorians should avoid travelling across the local government areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.

The panel of chief health officers says outbreaks have been identified, and people are strongly discouraged travelling to and from those areas until control of community transmission has been confirmed.

Cardinia Mayor Jeff Springfield said he only found out about the travel advice in his shire when he was contacted by media on Sunday evening.

“We haven’t received any further information at this point beyond the announcement from the AHPCC,” Springfield told 3AW Radio.

He would meet with the health department on Monday but said Cardinia residents had been doing a fantastic job following health directions.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos will speak later on Monday morning.

On Sunday she announced Victoria had recorded 19 new positive cases, which brought the state’s infectious cases to 1836.

She also announced a state of emergency extension of four weeks until July 19.

Victoria’s case numbers are the highest they have been in more than two months.

The AHPPC said 83 percent of new coronavirus cases recorded in Australia in the past week were reported in Victoria.

More than half of the new cases since the end of April have come from family members spreading it to their relatives.

The sharp increase in coronavirus cases in the last week forced the state government to announce a step back in restrictions easing that would have come into effect on Monday.

From Monday, Victorians will only be able to have five people at their homes and gatherings outside the home will be restricted to 10.

Gyms, cinemas, indoor sports centres and concert venues will be allowed to reopen but with a 20-person limit.

Cafes, restaurants and pubs were set to expand their number of patrons from 20 to 50 on Monday, but that is now on hold.

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association CEO Wes Lambert said the decision was taken without consultation.

He also said the process to cancel reopening plans would affect supply chains and employees who were scheduled to return to work on Monday.

“It certainly was a knee-jerk reaction to a situation that has happened in family clusters,” he told Nine’s Today program.

“They only had 34 hours notice. That’s really not enough time to make an effort to get all of that cancelled.”

Melbourne