THE short answer about whether we can expect a mass exodus from Melbourne as a result of the Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement today is – “yes and no”.
Melbournians, especially those who have holiday homes of “second residences” in Bass Coast and South Gippsland have until 11.59pm tonight, Friday, February 12, to hit the highway.
And you can expect to see strong numbers doing just that with Premier Andrews virtually declaring a 5-day long weekend, with no school, no sport, and workers discouraged from attending work unless absolutely necessary.
Local real estate agent, Greg Price said today that there had been no sign of increased holiday bookings to his Cowes agency but he believed that many of those who might come to their second residence in Bass Coast might already be here.
“We haven’t witnessed any increase in demand for holiday accommodation but in anticipation that metro Melbourne might be headed for a new, short lockdown, those people that can come to their second house in the area might already be here,” said Greg Price of Alex Scott and Staff Cowes.
“In anticipation of this, those that usually live in Melbourne, but who are retired or don’t work, may have already decided to stay on and are already here.”
Mr Price said he couldn’t say if the expected announcement by the Premier Daniel Andrews, of new restrictions to address the Holiday Inn outbreak would result in more people hitting the road for the Island and other popular coastal areas.
Time will tell he said.
However, the restriction on movement, stay within 5km of home, will stop further movement of people after 11.59pm tonight and until 11.59pm Wednesday.
Also, the same restrictions apply in regional Victoria as in metro Melbourne.