August 30, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

With Victoria recording its highest number of daily locally acquired COVID-19 cases this year on Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the lockdown would be extended beyond its scheduled end date this week.

The state notched up another 73 cases this morning.

“We see far too many cases today for us to be able to seriously consider opening up later this week,” said Andrews during yesterday’s press conference.

“Obviously with almost 100 cases today, where many of them remain mysteries, many of them were out in the community during their infectious period, it is not going to be possible for us to open up our Victorian community in just a couple of days’ time.”

Andrews said they would be looking at all the options for after the Thursday deadline, but that health advice hadn’t been received yet.

Victoria has been in its current lockdown – its sixth since the start of the pandemic – since August 5. Overall Melbourne residents have spent over 210 days in lockdown since the pandemic began.

That’s a lot of days without events.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, the outbreak there has continued to worsen with 83 locally acquired cases announced yesterday. The country has been in hard lockdown for almost two weeks now, despite the national lockdown only scheduled to last for a few days when it was first announced.

The majority of cases are being detected in Auckland, where the outbreak began.

All areas of New Zealand below the Auckland boundary are set to move to a Level 3 lockdown from tomorrow, while Auckland is expected to remain at the highest level of lockdown for at least another two weeks. Face-to-face events are not permitted at either of these alert levels.