Residents detained in public housing towers in Melbourne’s inner city will be barred from leaving their homes for a further 10 days if they refuse a coronavirus test, according to new public health orders introduced by the Victorian government.
The detention orders – which prevent about 3,000 people in nine public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne – were published by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services on Saturday night.
The directions apply from 4 July to 18 July, however the government has said it only intends to apply the laws for five days at this stage.
They state that people who refuse to be tested will be “detained for a further period of 10 days from the end of the initial detention period”.
People will not be able to leave their properties for reasons such as work, study or to obtain essential supplies like food, as is allowed in other Covid-19 “hot spot” suburbs which have been placed in lockdown.
However, the orders state that people can leave their home if they are granted permission by authorities to attend a medical facility, on compassionate grounds, or if there is an emergency.
“Except for authorised people, the only other people allowed in your premises are people who are being detained with you,” the order states. The government has said it will provide food and medical services to people who have been detained.