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Cyclist Fabio Jakobsen in medically induced coma after crash at finish of stage one of the Tour of Poland


Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen has been put in a medically induced coma after crashing at the finish line on stage one of the Tour of Poland following a collision with compatriot Dylan Groenewegen.

Jakobsen, who rides for the Deceuninck-Quick Step team, was jostling for position with Groenewegen in the final metres, but the pair came together with Groenewegen sending Jakobsen flying into the barriers, where he collided with a race official.

The sport’s governing body, the UCI, issued a statement strongly condemning what it called the “dangerous behaviour” of Groenewegen, accusing him of causing the crash and disqualifying him from the race.

“The UCI, which considers the behaviour unacceptable, immediately referred the matter to the Disciplinary Commission to request the imposition of sanctions commensurate with the seriousness of the facts,” the UCI said.

A professional cyclist is seen riding on his bike ahead of the team car.
Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen was challenging for the win in stage one of the Tour of Poland when he crashed in a high-speed incident.(Supplied: Deceuninck-QuickStep)

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Czeslaw Lang, the race director, also criticised Groenewegen for the incident.

“The competitor who caused this accident drove very incorrectly, because while riding in the middle, seeing that someone was coming out on the right, he started to pull down to the right,” Lang told state-controlled TVP.

The race official’s condition is not life threatening, the state-controlled news agency PAP reported.

Jakobsen’s team, Deceuninck-Quick Step, put out a statement later describing his condition as serious but stable.

“Diagnostic test (sic) didn’t reveal brain or spinal injury, but because of the gravity of his multiple injuries he is still kept in a comatose condition and has to remain closely monitored in the following days at the Wojewódzki Szpital in Katowice,” the team said.

The organisers were not immediately available for a comment.

A helicopter stands with its front door open at a cycling race, with Polish police in foreground.
Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was taken to hospital after a crash at the finish of the Tour of Poland stage in Katowice.(Reuters/Agencja Gazeta: Grzegorz Celejewski)

The 77th Tour of Poland was meant to be held in July but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The race began on Wednesday, with the 196km first stage taking the riders from the Slaski Stadium in Chorzow, southern Poland, to Katowice.

The race was reduced to five stages from the seven originally planned in order to leave room on the calendar for other re-scheduled races.

The crash, which happened in the southern city of Katowice, took place exactly a year after Belgian cyclist Bjorg Lambrecht died in the hospital from injuries he sustained when he crashed into a concrete barrier during the third stage of the 76th edition of the Tour of Poland.

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Local News - Victoria

Builders fear stage four restrictions will halt home construction


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Seventeen townhouses in Mooroolbark were supposed to be finished within weeks, with only their internal fit-outs left to complete.

“Now it will go beyond [deadline],” Mr Bavadiya said.

Most of those townhouses have already been sold, meaning their buyers may have to remain in rentals, and loans may have to be extended.

On Wednesday, Mr Bavadiya was still trying to confirm whether the five-person rule applied per townhouse or per construction site.

Michael Ryan from Marbuilt Builders said he would be able to manage the five-person rule and was thankful that construction had continued in some form while the pandemic gutters the economy.

But he said his business would be forced to shut down within 10 days if staff could not work at multiple job sites for the next six weeks.

“If that’s the case, it makes it extremely difficult to keep working,” Mr Ryan said. It might be easier, he suggested, to just “rip the Band-Aid off and shut down altogether” until mid-September.

“If you look at plumbers or electricians, glaziers, tilers or corkers, their scope of work on a construction site is only one to three days max,” he said. “They’re going to be impacted the greatest.”

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Mr Ryan said he understood the need for a partial shutdown, but argued the government had to get the balance right.

The Master Builders Association has been seeking clarification from the state government before the new rulestake effect at 11.59pm on Friday.

“We are actively working with the state government to clarify the intent behind the rules relating to movement between sites,” the industry group’s Victorian CEO, Rebecca Casson, said on Wednesday.

“If these directives aren’t properly thought through and applied, most of the building and construction industry will shut down within days.”

The association has estimated that stepping down construction for the next six weeks could cost the industry more than $450 million a day, given it accounts for 300,000 workers and 13 per cent of the state economy.

Amy Muir, the outgoing president of the Australian Institute of Architects in Victoria, said some projects may have to halt completely if architects are forced to stay off site.

She said it was possible, but certainly not ideal, to do virtual tours of a work site.

“It comes with its pitfalls and complications,” Ms Muir said. “It limits our ability to assess progress holistically which ultimately will impact the safety and quality of the built outcomes.”

“In order to fulfil our obligations as architects we need to be able to attend site in order to observe construction, monitor the progress and review the quality and safety aspects of the build.”

Ms Muir, who practices through Muir Architects, said architects needed to visit work sites to certify progress.

“This critically impacts the cash flow for contractors but more broadly subcontractors, suppliers and consultants,” she said.

A government spokeswoman said consultations with the industry were continuing.

“We’re asking Victorian businesses and workers to make some big sacrifices – but the alternative is six months of continued disruption and unacceptably high case numbers,” she said.

“We are continuing to consult with industry, workers’ representatives and stakeholders on the impact of the stage four restrictions.”

Contact tracing measures will also be required as part of the mandated COVID-19 safety plans.

Large construction sites and projects with more than three storeys (including the basement) must limit workers to 25 per cent of the normal number of employees allowed on site, confine all workers and contractors to the one site and demonstrate there are no crossover or blended shifts.

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What happens if Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown doesn’t work


Victorian authorities have imposed some of the toughest restrictions in the world on residents living in Melbourne but an expert has warned worse could be in store if the current stage 4 restrictions don’t work.

In releasing a list of industries that would be forced to close, Premier Daniel Andrews caused confusion yesterday when he referred to the possibility of stage 5 restrictions.

On Sunday, Mr Andrews announced stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne that prohibit people from leaving their homes unless it’s for one-hour of exercise a day. One person in the household is allowed to do grocery shopping.

Retail, some manufacturing and administration businesses will be forced to close while supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops and pharmacies are among the businesses allowed to keep operating.

Mr Andrews said if these coronavirus restrictions could get infections under control then they would not have to countenance even further action.

“The damage from which would be altogether, well, it would be in another category, it would go even beyond this because it wouldn’t just be changing how the economy works, it will be changing very much the way we live our lives even further,” he told reporters.

Reporters noted that the Premier’s media release mentioned stage 5 but when he was asked to explain this he said: “The reason stage five is mentioned is because there is no stage five. It doesn’t work.

“Otherwise, we will have to develop a set of rules that will even further limit people’s movement. I don’t want to get to a situation where we’ve got to take those steps,” he said.

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton further added to the confusion when he was asked about it.

“We’re not thinking about a Stage 5,” he said. “We’re thinking about a successful Stage 4. We know it can work. But it does require – and this is what talking about a Stage 5 is – it does require everyone’s co-operation.”

Of course one reporter then asked the obvious question: “Why was it mentioned?”

Prof Sutton responded: “Well it mentions it because it’s saying that the alternative is inconceivable. We need everyone to do what’s required now in order to get to where we want

to be.”

Melbourne University epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely told news.com.au he didn’t think there was a stage 5, at least not that he knew of, but he did think authorities could further tweak current restrictions.

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus updates

RELATED: Victoria to announce permit system

Further tightening could include:

• Closing all construction

• Further narrowing the definition of essential workers

• Closing bottle shops

• Shutting bakeries

• All takeaways shut

• Restricting shopping to once a week, not once a day

• Residents not allowed outside for one-hour of exercise

• Road blocks at all exits from metropolitan Melbourne

• Hard regional grid lockdown

• Random road blocks between suburbs

• Shut down all taxis, with only skeletal public transport available

• Compulsory mask wearing in homes.

But Prof Blakely said he didn’t think measures such as forcing people to wear masks in their homes would be likely even though it would probably help to bring down infections.

“These measures would provide marginal gains and may see the rates come down a few percentage rates faster, although it’s unclear as I haven’t modelled it yet,” he said.

“Those are the only places left to go and I don’t think they will have a huge impact.”

Prof Blakely said it wasn’t apparent what the Premier was referring to in his comments but he may have been pointing to tougher shopping and stay-at-home restrictions.

ENFORCEMENT CRUCIAL TO STAGE 4

Prof Blakely believes that the current stage 4 restrictions will work to bring cases down but enforcement of the rules is crucial.

“I am confident, we saw it work in Spain, Italy and the UK. It will work as long as we’ve got enforcement. If there are breaches then that’s a different matter but there is simple mathematics to this.”

He believes the next question is how long does Melbourne have to be in stage 4 lockdown in order to achieve the goal of “no community transmission”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said Australia is aiming for “no community transmission”, which is when there are no new cases without a known source identified for 28 days.

At this stage it’s unclear whether Victoria will still be able to achieve this, but Prof Blakely believes experts will have a better idea in about three weeks when the impact of the stage 4 restrictions is known and can be modelled.

RELATED: New rules in states as Victoria outbreak sparks panic

RELATED: Victoria doubles death toll in one week

Melbourne’s restrictions are now among the most strict in the world but Prof Blakely said it was crucial that residents followed the rules as otherwise this could see the lockdown further extended.

“Do this well, don’t muck around. For anyone breaking the rules there should be warnings for the first week then the full rate of penalties after,” he said.

“A week ago there were so many examples of people not being at home when they should be in isolation.”

He said it was human nature for people to believe they wouldn’t be the ones to get sick.

“It’s very common psychology and for those who have had the virus, once their symptoms are gone, they may think, ‘Why should I stay in isolation for another 10 days?’

“But we know that you can still be transmitting the virus even when you don’t have symptoms.

“Yes it’s a pain but given where we are it’s utterly critical that everyone abides by the rules.”

He said this applied equally for businesses that may naturally look for loopholes in rules.

“The idea of looking for loopholes, that has to go both at an individual and business level.”

Prof Blakely said the availability of JobKeeper, JobSeeker and now the pandemic payment were in place to help people get through.

“It’s going to be tough but if we muck around now it’s just going to go on and on,” he said.

“We just have to do this well and that will maximise our chances of elimination as well as reducing the time we have to spend in hard lockdown.

“No matter what camp you are in, the message is the same, go hard and obey the rules.”

charis.chang@news.com.au | @charischang2





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Local News - Victoria

Victoria records 439 COVID-19 cases, introduces stage 4 lockdown breach penalties


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The new penalties come after a police officer was allegedly assaulted after she approached a woman who wasn’t wearing a mask.

“After a confrontation and being assaulted by that woman, those police officers went to ground and there was a scuffle,” Chief Commissioner Shane Patten said.

“And during that scuffle, this 38-year-old woman smashed the head of the policewoman several times into a concrete area on the ground. That behaviour is just totally unacceptable.”

The state will also deploy a further 250 police officers towards monitoring the lockdown.

Premier Daniel Andrews said more than 3000 doorknocks have now been completed and on more than 800 occasions people were not home as required.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said a minority of people were knowingly doing the wrong thing and putting people’s lives at risk.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s unacceptable. And it is dangerous. That’s why we’ve put in place extraordinary powers,” Ms Neville said.

There are 456 Victorians in hospital with COVID-19, 38 of them in intensive care, Mr Andrews said.

“I’m sad to have to inform you that there are now 147 people who have died as a result of this global pandemic,” he said.

Ms Neville said in the 48 hours since the curfew started, there had been dozens of people who had decided they didn’t need to abide by it. She said police issued another 161 fines yesterday.

“So, somebody who decided they were bored and they were going to go out for a drive, somebody who decided that they needed to buy a car after 8pm last night, drive across the city of Melbourne and we’ve also seen people who have picked up people from other households, again breaching the direction and then also briefing the curfew,” Ms Neville said.

Mr Andrews also outlined new rules for workers when the new stage four restrictions start at 11.59 pm on Wednesday.

Mr Andrews said employees working in permitted industries who cannot work from home would be required to carry a new ‘worker permit’ when travelling to and from work.

“Employers will be required to issue signed permits to their employees to allow them to attend a workplace – to prevent people trying to get around the tough new restrictions,” a government statement said.

More to come

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We should have gone to stage four a week ago


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Why were they listened to and their views placed above the health experts’? Was the Police Association reluctant for its members to be pressed into doing security work so we got under-trained and under-supervised casual guards instead?

The inquiry by retired judge Jennifer Coate ought be the forum to find answers to those and other questions, although it is so far only being asked to look at hotel quarantine. Dan Andrews must expand her terms of reference or turn her limited inquiry into a full royal commission. Now is the time to do so, to reassure Victorian voters that the government is not covering up errors.

Some people are angry. Some people are sad. Most are anxious. Those who have been doing all the right things feel frustration. Those who dismiss the entire pandemic as a hoax or a plot to take away their freedoms have had their paranoia fed steroids with stage four.

Scar tissue is slowly growing on the Premier. How he has managed to maintain his equilibrium is anyone’s guess. I cannot imagine anyone else doing a better job, neither from his front bench nor the opposition. The strain must be immense, as it is also on his inner circle and their advisers.

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Despite a begrudging acknowledgment of the difficulty of the task, there is little sympathy in the politically disengaged broader community — after all, this is what we expect from leaders during any crisis, bushfire or otherwise. But this emergency has endured well beyond what anyone was expecting. No one factored in a six-month duration.

There has been considerable debate within the Liberal Party about how combative they ought be.

Michael O’Brien, leader of the opposition, has maintained a critical but constructive stance and gets credit for it. Ambitious agitator Tim Smith has resorted to talking to Sydney radio shock-jocks, somehow imagining that this is enhancing his progression in the Victorian political stakes. To call for the state government to cede powers to the Commonwealth has marked him as something other than a sensible voice and not a serious contributor.

The plea that we should accept six weeks of stage four instead of six months of Stage 3 is a well-calibrated and appropriate explanation to provide. The deadline is designed to try to rescue events such as the AFL grand final and the spring racing carnival, although the AFL Commission may have other ideas than a socially distanced half-crowd at the MCG.

My view is that the stage four trigger ought to have been pulled a week ago, as soon as numbers spiked. That they have now plateaued instead of exploded further is no solace to those who are losing their jobs and businesses and wondering how they will pay rent or a mortgage once the banks stop support. That indulgence by the banks will eventually wear out the patience of their shareholders as the “knock-on” effect is fully measured and factored in. Expect at least 18 months of insolvencies, bankruptcies and empty shops. The six-weeks forced closure announced on Monday afternoon will be the final nail for many struggling small and family businesses.

Schools will recover, and this year’s VCE coterie will forever wonder how they may have fared but for COVID-19. Universities and especially their overseas student populations will take longer to come out of hibernation, and that will take a substantial toll on a city that has prospered so much financially and culturally from being a “university town”.

It is not all bad news — pokies venues have been shut for months! But for now, as we are still in its grip, all we can do is bunker down, get back to the sourdough and wait. And if you are one of those indulging instead in fairy floss and dagwood dogs, stay away from the hall of mirrors.

Jon Faine is a former presenter on ABC 774.

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Victoria’s ‘tough’ Stage 4 lockdown slammed


Victorian opposition leader Michael O’Brien has slammed the state government’s decision to bring about a Stage 4 lockdown, saying it will be a “bitter pill to swallow” for Victorian workers.

“I feel for every Victorian whose life and livelihood will be affected by this decision through no fault of their own,” he said.

“Small business will be particularly hard hit. Many shopping strips and High Streets will become ghost towns for at least 6 weeks. Many will not recover.

“I’m calling for the Labor Government to do more to support affected workers and small business through this.

“Sole traders, in particular, have been left behind. The smallest of small businesses deserve extra support, not being ignored.”

He also pushed for a “dedicated hotline” where affected workers and business operators can get answers.

“These are very tough times made tougher by Labor Government mistakes which have led to the harshest lockdowns in our state’s history,” he said. “The least that the Labor Government can do is to let people know where they stand.”

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage here

RELATED: ‘Don’t deserve this’: Lockdown lashed

However, there is evidence to suggest Victoria’s situation would have been much worse without earlier lockdown measures.

Research from the Burnet Institute revealed that before Melbourne introduced Stage 3 lockdowns, the reproduction number was 1.75, ABC’s 7.30 program reported.

According to the research, the Level 3 restrictions brought that infection rate down, essentially meaning that 20,000 infections were avoided during the month of July.

Victoria has recorded a further 429 cases today, marking a drop from 671 yesterday, and 13 additional deaths. The state now has 6489 active cases.

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced tough new stage 4 restrictions that will likely see an extra 250,000 Victorians out of work.

Speaking to the media on Monday afternoon, Mr Andrews said he estimated around 500,000 residents would be working from home during the six-week lockdown period in a bid to contain the coronavirus crisis plaguing the state.

He said the number of those stood down from their job was likely to double under the latest measures, which are the harshest in Australia’s history.

“We know there (are) about 250,000 people stood down in one form or another and this will add a further 250,000 in rough numbers. We will get a clearer sense of that as the week unfolds,” Mr Andrews said.

He said the lockdown was “essential” to reduce the risk of people “moving around the community, and therefore, the number of points at which the virus can be transmitted from one person to another”.

He also stressed that there would be financial support for those affected by the new rules.

“ … JobKeeper and JobSeeker are at the higher level, the higher rate until well into September, well past the six week window, and I will continue my discussions around cash flow support, business support, other things we can do in partnership,” he said.

“I make that commitment to every single Victorian that we will work together in partnership with the Commonwealth to look after those who need to be looked after, to support those who need support, and then to getting, to get right into that rebuilding work that will be necessary once we get to the other side of this.”

Mr Andrews said it would take Victoria “years to recover” from the broader coronavirus crisis and said it was “absolutely essential” to come up with a recovery plan.

“In terms of the Victorian economy, I would see it as not just a six-week issue, I’d see this as the entire impact of this pandemic, which is now months old, will take us years to recover from,” he said.

“There’s simply no doubt about that. And that’s why a clear plan to rebuild, to recover, with strength, a clear plan around skills and jobs, will be absolutely essential.

“And we’ve already begun the hard work of drawing that plan up, and we will waste no time delivering it, and delivering it in full.”



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What stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions mean for businesses


Retail

Almost all retailing in Melbourne will be closed under the restrictions.

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Exemptions from the closures announced on Monday include: supermarkets, grocery, food and liquor shops; convenience stores; petrol stations; pharmacies; post offices; hardware, building and garden supplies shops retailing for trade; maternity supplies; motor vehicle parts for emergency repairs only.

Retailers will also be able to work onsite for the purposes of fulfilling online orders.

Shopping centres will be allowed to open only to provide access to permitted retail.

‘Click and collect’ services will have to be delivered with strict safety protocols in place.

Hardware, building and garden supplies stores will be allowed to serve only trade customers in store. Members of the public will have to rely on click and collect.

Personal care services including hairdressers will be closed, as will car washes and photographic film processors.

Locksmiths, laundries and dry cleaners are exempt from the closures.

Warehouses and distribution centres will be limited to no more than two-thirds of their normal workforce onsite at any one time.

Cafes, pubs, restaurants

Accommodation businesses (except with specific exemptions) pubs, taverns, bars, clubs, nightclubs and food courts will all be closed.

Workplaces that will be allowed to operate include those involved in: Cafes, restaurants (take away and delivery food services only); provision of meals on wheels for aged services; essential support to be provided for in-home support for aged services; boarding schools, residential colleges and university accommodation services; other essential services such as roadhouses, to comply with national heavy vehicle regulations.

Construction

The new rules on the construction industry which will depend on the scale of the project but all sites will need to have a High Risk COVID Safe Plan.

For large scale construction (any building project of more than three storeys excluding basement):

For small scale construction:

  • there will be a maximum of five workers allowed on site including supervisors;
  • workers will be allowed to attend only one site; and
  • shifts must not cross over.

Manufacturing

A sweep of manufacturing businesses will no longer be able to be open.

Manufacturers that will have to close include: all fabricated metal products; furniture; textiles, leather, footwear, clothing and knitted products.

Many other manufacturers will be allowed to stay open but will have to operate under new restrictions. Food and beverage production was amongst those in that category.

There will be tough new rules on abbatoirs requiring staggered shifts, fewer workers and the wearing of personal protective equipment.

Transport

Scenic and sightseeing transport will be banned.

Businesses that will be allowed to continue to have on-site workers include:

  • Rail transport (passenger and freight) – including rail yards
  • Water transport (passenger and freight) – including ports and Tasmanian shipping lines
  • Air Transport (passenger and freight)
  • Pipeline and other transport
  • Transport support services
  • Vehicle repair, servicing and maintenance
  • Towing services

Areas with specific rules include public transport, ride/share and taxis which will be available but only to support access to permitted services and provide transport for permitted workers.

Banking and finance

Businesses providing these services will not be allowed to have staff on-site:

  • Non-Depository Financing
  • Financial Asset Investing
  • Insurance and Superannuation Funds
  • Auxiliary Finance and Insurance Services

These services will be allowed to have staff on-site:

  • Bank branches
  • Critical banking services to support the provision of services, credit and payment facilities, including the functioning of all operational, treasury, distribution, reporting, communications, monitoring, maintenance, corporate, support and other functions.

Information, media and telecommunications.

The following businesses will be closed for on-site work:

  • Book Publishing
  • Directory and Mailing List Publishing
  • Other Publishing
  • Software Publishing
  • Motion Picture and Sound Recording Activities
  • Library and Other Information Services

The following industries will be allowed to open with a COVID-Safe Plan:

  • Telecommunications services
  • Newspaper and magazine publishing
  • Radio broadcasting
  • Television broadcasting
  • Internet publishing and broadcasting
  • Internet Service Providers, Web Search Portals and Data Processing Services
  • Production, broadcast and distribution of telecommunication and supporting infrastructure required to support critical functions, such as law enforcement, public safety, medical or other critical industries and where it cannot be undertaken virtually.
  • Screen production.

Professional, scientific and technical services

The following businesses will be closed for on-site work:

  • Architectural, Engineering and Technical Services
  • Legal and Accounting Services
  • Advertising Services
  • Market Research and Statistical Services
  • Management and Related Consulting Services
  • Professional Photographic Services
  • Other Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Computer System Design and Related Services

The following exemptions to on-site work will be allowed with a COVID-Safe Plan:

  • Involved in COVID-19 (e.g. MedTech research including vaccines)
  • Hazard monitoring and resilience
  • Biosecurity and public health
  • Medical or other research where Australia has a competitive advantage, and which cannot be shut down and requires on site attendance
  • Critical scientific facilities – for critical scientific experiments, labs, collections

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Community spirit lifts as coronavirus stage four restrictions come down in Yarraville in Melbourne’s inner west


In Yarraville, Lee Smith-Moir has been delighting users of Cruickshank Park since creating her own version of the rainbow trail, with 20 flags to spot, in March.

One of the signs put up by Lee Smith-Moir.

One of the signs put up by Lee Smith-Moir.Credit:Facebook

From a fun facts educational trail to a Ministry of Silly Walks path, she has been setting up different activities to cheer up locals on their daily exercise.

“Every day, we get people saying it brightens their day … they say it gives them a laugh or ‘I learnt something really interesting,’ ” Ms Smith-Moir said.

“It’s become a little happy place at the edge of the park.”

The retiree even built a giant puzzle wall, filled with optical illusions and quizzes, on the side of her home that sits on the edge of the park.

A virtual tropical holiday photo booth decorated with palms and flamingoes attracted hundreds of locals a day over a weekend in April.

People pose in the virtual holiday photo booth.

People pose in the virtual holiday photo booth. Credit:Facebook

And her front garden has a frog-spotting game for children.

Ms Smith-Moir watches from her living room that looks onto part of the park as locals enjoy her creations.

“In the morning, I often wake up to kids at the fence. You can hear them talking and laughing and trying to do the puzzle,” she said.

“We don’t even notice being locked down because we’re having so much fun.

“We haven’t felt alone, we haven’t felt isolated at all. It makes us smile every day.”

Ms Smith-Moir has more plans in store for Cruickshank Park users and has created a Facebook group where she plans to put up signs Victorians can print out to put up in their own parks and neighbourhoods.

Public health specialist Charmaine Consul has come across many of Ms Smith-Moir’s activities while walking her dog, including a trail of signs last week that made her laugh.

She said some personal issues on top of the uncertainty of the pandemic had been getting her down.

“I was trundling along quite OK, but then I started to think I’m sick of staying in this house,” she said.

“[The activities] are very meaningful. It just takes your mind off it and you think about something else. It’s good to have a laugh. It’s really is lifting spirits.”

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Businesses brace for stage four lockdown restrictions


“There’ll be some (industries) that can continue, there’ll be some that will have to reduce the amount of work they do, the amount of output, therefore the amount of workers and therefore the amount of risk.”

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“There’s a lot of national issues at play here as well, because obviously we have the biggest container port in the country. What gets turned off here will have a direct impact right across the nation, and indeed right across the region and the world when it comes to issues of export,” he said.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the tougher restrictions would have a devastating impact on businesses and jobs, but acknowledged they were needed to stop the spread of the virus.

“This is a very tough day for Victoria. Stage 4 will mean the end for many businesses, with thousands more jobs set to be lost,” said chief executive Paul Guerra.

Meanwhile, Woolworths said it had reinstated a purchase limit of two items per customer on at least 50 product categories in Victoria.

The limits apply to products including toilet paper, paper towel, tissues and baby wipes and foods including rice, flour, sugar, pasta, pasta sauce, dairy milk, eggs and sausages.

Shoppers will be able to buy two packs of meat types including pork, lamb, beef and chicken. But Woolworths confirmed customers will be able to buy two packs of pork, as well as two packs of other meat types.

There’s a lot of national issues at play here as well, because obviously we have the biggest container port in the country.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews

“We understand this is an anxious time for our Victorian customers, but we encourage everyone to continue shopping as they usually would and only buy what they need,” said Woolworths Supermarkets managing director Claire Peters.

“Stock will continue to flow from our distribution centres and as an essential service, Woolworths supermarkets remain open to support customers’ food and grocery needs,” she said.

In a statement Aldi said it did not have any product restrictions in place, but was monitoring the situation closely.

The news of further restrictions for businesses came as Mr Andrews announced a historic daily curfew across Melbourne from 8pm to 5am, unveiled stage four restrictions, declared a state of disaster and announced 671 new COVID-19 cases.

A long queue forms outside Woolworths supermarket in South Melbourne as customers prepare to stock up on shopping with Melbourne facing tougher stage four lockdown restrictions within days.

A long queue forms outside Woolworths supermarket in South Melbourne as customers prepare to stock up on shopping with Melbourne facing tougher stage four lockdown restrictions within days. Credit:Wendy Tuohy

Celia Spykers said she waited in a queue for more than half an hour to get to the cash registers at a Gisborne Coles supermarket on Sunday.

She said the store had no eggs left, and there was “very little meat”. “I’ve never seen it like that and I’ve been around Gisborne for around seven years,” she said.

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Ms Spykers said it wasn’t unusual that the car park was full, but after she had got a small amount of groceries she had to join a queue that ended at the back of the store.

“I laughed it off and took a photo and it took me 35 minutes to get from the side of the fridges to one deep at a register.”

Inside, “there was no panicking or racing or raised voices. It was all very courteous and everyone took it in their stride”.

Trolleys were full but it didn’t look like people were buying excessive numbers of specific items.

She said staff directed trolleys into registers to keep aisles clear. “The staff were amazing, they were working as fast as they could and being extremely helpful.

“An older lady came up with a basket and she was let in the line rather than told to go all the way to the back,” she said.

Ms Spykers said the increase in customers was a response to rumours of stricter restrictions being brought in.

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Local News - Victoria

What does Victoria’s stage 4 lockdown curfew and 5km rule mean for exercise, shopping


Exercise

Maximum one hour daily within 5km of home, with one other person – no family/share house groups. There is an exemption for dependent children.

“Daily exercise is just that. It’s an opportunity to get some exercise. It’s not an opportunity to live our lives as if this pandemic was not real and not here,” Mr Andrews said.

“When it comes to exercise, it’s no longer three sets of tennis or a game of golf or any of that. It is staying close to home and only once per day and only one person. That is really very, very important as well.

“The whole issue of one hour really puts beyond doubt some of those recreational activities anyway because you simply wouldn’t be able to conduct some of those things in an hour.

“There will be common sense exemptions for children who are being cared for and can’t be left at home and things of that nature.”

Shopping

Only one person per household per day within 5km or closest supermarket. There is an exemption for caregiving, assisting the elderly.

“You will no longer be able to leave home and go any further away from your home than a 5km radius,” Mr Andrews said.

“You will not be able to be at any point more than 5km away from your home for the purposes of shopping for what you need. Only one person will be able to go shopping once per day and they will need to secure the goods and services that are what you need within a 5km radius.

“I want to assure all Victorians, supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there.

“I want to make the point there’s no need to be queuing up at the Coles or Woolworths or queuing up at the local baker or butcher, they’ll remain open.

“They’ll remain to be able to provide you with the things that you need. Takeaway meals, home delivery meals, they’ll remain as they are now.”

Education

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Monday – as per current program

Tuesday – pupil free day

Wednesday – all classes return to remote learning statewide

“What that means for metropolitan Melbourne is the tear 11 and 12s will go back to working from home.

“Special schools will remain open for those who really need to be in those settings. And the children, the students of parents who are working, they will be able to go to school and be supervised but it will really only be those that are absolutely necessary to do so.

“We’ll be reducing the total amount of students that are at school and therefore the total amount of movement. “In regional Victoria, they will move to remote and flexible learning for all students but there will be I think larger numbers of student that are allowed to be at school because their parents are working.”

Childcare

Childcare will be closed. There will be an exemption for vulnerable children and children of permitted workers.

Education Minister James Merlino said: “That means for the first time in our early childhood settings, the only children who will be attending on site will be children on workers and those defined industries or very vulnerable children.”

Taxis/Ubers

Mr Andrews was asked about rules in ridesharing cars and taxis and said: “Mandatory mask. Mandatory backseat and we’ll be doing further work around whether there are passenger limits on that.”

Intimate partners

There will be an exemption from the 5km limit for people to visit their intimate partners.

“The arrangements in relation to intimate partners are unchanged,” Mr Andrews said.

“The arrangements in relation to shared custody are unchanged. Things like five kilometre rules and reasons to leave your home, they don’t apply in those circumstances.”

Restaurants/Cafes

Takeaway and home delivery allowed subject to conditions.

Bottle shops

Will remain open.

Public transport

Restricted overnight train services – returns to pre-Night Network program.

Some Protective Services Officers deployed from Night Network to enforcement.

Weddings

Banned from Thursday

There are exemptions for compassionate reasons.

Funerals

Mr Andrews said the rules on funerals are unchanged.

Recreation

Organised sport, recreation,golf and fishing are all banned.

Businesses

Mr Andrews said there would be more detail on Monday about restrictions on businesses.

“I’ll have more to say about the types of restrictions within the economy, types of changes to the way we work and the types of support we’ll provide to all those affected,” he said.

Regional Victoria

Moves to current stage 3 restrictions from Thursday.

Mitchell Shire

Remains on current stage 3 restrictions.

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