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Nine public housing estates in central Melbourne are immediately shut down as the city struggles with a second spike in coronavirus cases.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, who announced the drastic measure on Saturday, said about 3,000 residents will be confined to their units for at least five days.

Enforcement requires an unprecedented level of police assistance, but Mr Andrews said residents will be supported and fed during the closure.

Discussions are also underway about possible rental lighting and hardships to assist tenants during the dramatic shutdown.

Children do not have to go to school next week because they are still school holidays, the term stop ends on Sunday 12 July.

The public residential areas are located in Flemington and North Melbourne, two suburbs that align with Melbourne’s growing list of COVID-19 hotspots.

Nine public residential areas in Melbourne's inner city are closed immediately

Nine public residential areas in Melbourne’s inner city are closed immediately

Police are speaking to residents of one of the towers after the announcement was made on Saturday

Police are speaking to residents of one of the towers after the announcement was made on Saturday

Police are speaking to residents of one of the towers after the announcement was made on Saturday

The police will gather outside one of the nine public residential areas on Saturday

The police will gather outside one of the nine public residential areas on Saturday

The police will gather outside one of the nine public residential areas on Saturday

VICTORIA’S HARD LOCKDOWN

Nine social housing towers in Melbourne will be closed immediately for at least five days.

Flemington: The high density complexes at 12 Holland Court, 120 Racecourse Road, 126 Racecourse Road and 130 Racecourse Road.

North Melbourne: 12 Sutton Street, 33 Alfred Street, 76 Canning Street, 159 Melrose Street and 9 Pampas Street.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said 23 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in more than 12 households in the public housing estates of Flemington and North Melbourne in recent days.

“No one will come in except the residents who return home, and no one is allowed out of those public towers,” said Mr. Andrews.

“There will be a huge logistics task to ensure that those people are fed with the support they need.

“I think we can handle that task and I don’t underestimate how challenging, how traumatic it will be in some ways for those 3,000 residents.”

Mr Andrews said that “the issues have not yet been completely resolved” and that there will be more announcements on “targeted and specific support” on Sunday.

He added that there were “many conversations” with Victoria Police on Saturday to trigger the lockdown.

About 500 police officers will be deployed per shift across the nine towers.

“There will be a number of VicPol employees on every floor in the towers, and a larger number of members of the Victoria Police will essentially check that hard barrier at the entry points to these towers,” said Mr. Andrews.

Members of the local community should not be allowed to approach public residential areas.

Within an hour of Mr Andrews' press conference at 4:00 PM, police had flooded public housing and blocked all driveways and doorways

Within an hour of Mr Andrews' press conference at 4:00 PM, police had flooded public housing and blocked all driveways and doorways

Within an hour of Mr Andrews’ press conference at 4:00 PM, police had flooded public housing and blocked all driveways and doorways

Police in face masks guard the entrance to one of the nine buildings

Police in face masks guard the entrance to one of the nine buildings

Police in face masks guard the entrance to one of the nine buildings

“There will be a barrier, there will be some distance between where members of the general public can go and these towers,” said Mr. Andrews.

“The police presence and police will be unprecedented.”

Victorian Council of Social Service chief Emma King called the move “dramatic” but important.

She said they will work with tenants to ensure that support services are accessible.

“If we’re wrong, the consequences will be dire.

“Some tenants of public housing have fled war or family violence.

“Some are dealing with mental health problems. Many do not speak English as their first language. Many others have casual or insecure jobs.

“This blocking will frighten many people and evoke memories of past trauma.

“Being told you can’t get out of your house or see the police at your door can be a silent confrontation.

“Being cut off from outside support services and family networks will also be harmful to many people.”

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, who announced the drastic measure on Saturday, said about 3,000 residents will be confined to their units for at least five days.  Picture: one of the towers

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, who announced the drastic measure on Saturday, said about 3,000 residents will be confined to their units for at least five days.  Picture: one of the towers

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, who announced the drastic measure on Saturday, said about 3,000 residents will be confined to their units for at least five days. Picture: one of the towers

Police arrive at the residential areas in Flemington and North Melbourne on Saturday

Police arrive at the residential areas in Flemington and North Melbourne on Saturday

Police arrive at the residential areas in Flemington and North Melbourne on Saturday

Within an hour of Mr Andrews’ press conference at 4:00 PM, police had flooded social housing buildings and blocked all driveways and doorways.

Residents saw police confront the reason why they were targeted, while others sought information from the gathered media.

The 31-year-old resident of social housing Hoda God told AAP that everyone was surprised by the closure and that families with young children were already struggling.

“A lady in the building with three children, she wanted to get a formula,” she said.

“The lady now needed a formula. It’s kind of sad that she can’t even go to Woolies. ‘

Another woman with a five-year-old child wanted to go shopping and was told by the police that it was not possible.

Police are forcing a shutdown at the residential towers on Racecourse Road in Flemington on Saturday

Police are forcing a shutdown at the residential towers on Racecourse Road in Flemington on Saturday

Police are forcing a shutdown at the residential towers on Racecourse Road in Flemington on Saturday

“They need groceries now. She has nothing to cook tonight, “said Mrs. God.

The prime minister said that many vulnerable residents live in the towers.

“I would like to ask that we all be as sensitive as possible to the privacy and vulnerability that many of those people will experience right now,” he said.

“This is a very important step, not one we have had to take before, but it is to protect those residents and the wider community that we are taking this very difficult step.”

Housing Minister Richard Wynne agreed that the towers are home to some of the most vulnerable members of the community, but said residents are cared for throughout the lock.

“I absolutely know that we will do everything we can to support these people in this very difficult and challenging time,” he said.

A police officer with a face mask speaks to a driver as he forces Saturday's closure on nine residential areas

A police officer with a face mask speaks to a driver as he forces Saturday's closure on nine residential areas

A police officer with a face mask speaks to a driver as he forces Saturday’s closure on nine residential areas

About 500 police officers work per team over the nine high-rise buildings

About 500 police officers work per team over the nine high-rise buildings

About 500 police officers work per team over the nine high-rise buildings

Mr. Wynne said there will be talks about potential rental lighting and hardships in the coming day.

“I want to reassure all our social housing tenants affected by this that we will take whatever measures are necessary to support them in the most practical way,” he said.

“Whether it’s medical support, whether it’s mental health support, drug and alcohol support.”

Mr Andrews said that the organization of food and supplies had already started.

“We will make specific arrangements for anyone who needs medical care from those all-towers, whether it be physical health, mental health, food, supplies, anything like that will be addressed and we are confident that we have – that work has already begun, “he said.

Residents are encouraged to undergo a coronavirus test and if they refuse the swab, they will likely remain in isolation for 14 days.

It is currently the school holiday in Victoria, so students living in the buildings will not miss classes during the closing.

The term stop ends on Sunday July 12.

Mr. Andrews did not address the implications of the closure for residents in their jobs.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews (photo) announced the immediate measure on Saturday afternoon

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews (photo) announced the immediate measure on Saturday afternoon

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews (photo) announced the immediate measure on Saturday afternoon

A resident with a baby talks to two police officers in face masks on Saturday

A resident with a baby talks to two police officers in face masks on Saturday

A resident with a baby talks to two police officers in face masks on Saturday

In Flemington, the high-density complexes on 12 Holland Court, 120 Racecourse Road, 126 Racecourse Road and 130 Racecourse Road will be closed immediately.

Likewise in North Melbourne, 12 Sutton Street, 33 Alfred Street, 76 Canning Street, 159 Melrose Street, and 9 Pampas Street will also be closed hard.

Mr. Andrews explained that 23 cases of coronavirus have been recorded in more than 12 households in the public housing estates of Flemington and North Melbourne in recent days.

Victoria registered 108 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, and those who stayed at home were renewed with two more zip codes.

The two Melbourne zip codes to close on Saturday at 11:59 PM are 3031 (Flemington, Kensington and parts of Melbourne) and 3051 (North Melbourne) and are the same zip codes as the People’s Towers.

There are now a total of 12 postcodes that are considered COVID-19 hotspots and are subject to strict home orders.

Which suburbs are closed?

3012 – Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray

3021 – Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans

3032 – Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore

3038 – Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens

3042 – Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie

3046 – Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park

3047 – Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana

3055 – Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West

3060 – Fawkner

3064 – Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo

FROM 11.59 ON SATURDAY JULY 4:

3031 – Flemington, Kensington

3051 – North Melbourne

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