United Kingdom

Covid Australia: Cops WON'T charge Sydney removalists who brought the delta strain to Melbourne

Three Sydney removalists who sparked a 12-day Covid lockdown in Melbourne after crossing the border with the highly infectious Indian Delta strain will not face any charges.

The Department of Health launched an investigation to determine whether the trio had breached public health orders during their work trip earlier this month which saw the virus seed into the state. 

Victoria police reviewed their findings to consider whether further investigation was needed, but announced on Tuesday the matter had been dropped.

'Victoria Police has undertaken an assessment of the material provided and determined there is no evidence of other offending,' a police spokeswoman said in a statement. 

'As such, Victoria Police will not be taking any action and this matter is closed from a police perspective.'

Three Sydney removalists who plunged Victorian into is fifth lockdown after importing the highly infectious Covid Delta strain into the state will not face charges

'Any inquiries regarding the outcome of the investigation into potential breaches of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act and CHO directions should be directed to Department of Health as the lead agency.'

The workers travelled from Sydney's Covid-ravaged western suburbs to Melbourne on July 8 to deliver furniture at multiple locations, before travelling to South Australia. 

As a result, numerous residents were infected with the virus at Ariele Apartments in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, sending the entire building and its 200 residents into quarantine for 14 days. 

The trio were accused of not wearing masks and being in breach of their working permit conditions. 

Victoria Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar previously said the removalists were not wearing masks as exemptions are granted for strenuous activities like carrying furniture. 

However, he warned health authorities would 'throw the book' at the men if they were found to have violated the state's health regulations.  

The Covid-infected Sydney removalists were found to have not broken any rules after an investigation by the VIC Department of Health and police. Pictured: The Ariele Apartments in Maribyrnong where the men delivered furniture

This graphic outlines the route the Sydney removalists took during their work trip earlier this month 

The news comes as the authorities prepare to cautiously lift Victoria's lockdown while wary of another outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant.

For a third straight day, all the 10 new locally acquired cases on Tuesday have been linked to Victoria's current outbreaks and were in isolation for their entire infectious period.  

Since the men travelled to the state just over two weeks ago, there are now 190 Victorian infections linked to the NSW outbreak, which has surpassed 2100 cases. 

The statewide lockdown was called on July 15 - just seven days after the removalist's trip - and was initially slated to run five days before it was extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday.

More than 24,000 test results were received in the 24 hours to midnight on Tuesday, while 15,677 vaccine doses were administered at state-run sites during the same period.

Victoria is preparing to lift its statewide lockdown from midnight after consecutive days of Covid cases only being recorded quarantine. Pictured: Staff pictured at the entrance of the Maribyrnong apartment complex, which was locked down as a result of the removalists' trip

Premier Daniel Andrews, senior government ministers and the state's public health team met on Monday night to make a final decision on the new restrictions. 

Mr Andrews announced on Tuesday the lockdown - the state's fifth in 17 months - will lift at 11.59pm on Tuesday, ending stay-home orders and the five-kilometre travel limit.

'It's not over. We've got to be vigilant against this virus, the Delta strain, in the days and weeks and months ahead until we get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can,' he told reporters on Tuesday.

Under the eased restrictions, schools can welcome back students for all year levels, hospitality venues can reopen for seated service and outdoor gatherings are allowed for up to 10 people.

Live music venues, dance classes and gyms can also throw open their doors with a strict density limit of one person per four square metres.

But many onerous restrictions will linger, with health authorities wary of the highly infectious Delta variant that sparked the shutdown.

Victorians won't be able to have visitors to their home and masks remain compulsory indoors and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

In addition, no crowds will be allowed at sports events or theatres.

The restrictions will remain in place for two weeks. 

HOW THE VIRUS SPREAD FROM SYDNEY TO MELBOURNE

Three Sydney removalists arrived at a home in Craigieburn on the northern outskirts of Melbourne on July 8, where they dropped off furniture.

They could be seen moving items inside their truck and walking around a car park without face coverings in CCTV footage.

Two of the three men would later go on to test positive for the highly infectious Indian Delta variant, with the visit sending long-suffering Victorian residents into their fifth lockdown and triggering over 100 further infections.

Under work permits allowing people from NSW to go to Victoria for essential work, they must wear face masks. 

As a result, numerous residents were infected with the virus at Ariele Apartments, sending the entire building and its 200 residents into quarantine for 14 days. 

A resident in his 60s passed on the virus to his parents, aged 89 and 90, who live in Craigieburn.

The same man also attended an AFL game between Carlton and Geelong at the MCG on July 10 with a friend, a Bacchus Marsh Grammar teacher.

The friend, a Barwon Heads man in his 50s also tested positive as did two members of his household, another man in his 60s and a nine-year-old child.

An adult and a child who were sitting in the same section of the MCG as the two men have also tested positive in a case of suspected 'stranger-to-stranger transmission'.

Several more positive cases linked the MCG transmission chain would soon follow with infections also piling up from the Craigieburn cluster.  

Football news:

Messi and his family can move to a castle near Paris. The building is estimated at 48 million euros
Varan about Ronaldo: The best example of a winning mentality in the world. He works admirably
Jimmy Greaves died. The best scorer of the English championship was 81 years old
Barcelona wants to sign Holand, Pogba and Olmo next summer
Sulscher on Sancho: We see him as a top striker for Manchester United for the next 10-15 years. He will progress
Leonardo denied that Messi receives 30 million euros a year at PSG: The data is extremely far from reality
Italiano after the 3rd victory in a row: Fiorentina should continue in the same spirit