Victorian health chief’s advice on the Black Lives Matter protest planned for Saturday
The state’s health chief has urged Victorians not to go to a large protest planned in the CBD on Saturday.
More than 22,000 people have indicated they intend to attend a rally in support of the Black Lives Matter movement outside Parliament at the weekend.
But Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions stipulate that people cannot gather in groups of more than 20.
Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton today said the event poses a threat to public health, due to the risk of spreading COVID-19, and urged people to reconsider attending.
“I know there are many people wanting to protest in person this week and show their support. Unfortunately now is not the time for thousands of people to gather together, putting your and others’ health at risk,” he said in a statement.
“We are still in the middle of a pandemic and this protest carries a real risk for all Victorians, particularly those in vulnerable groups.
“The restrictions are there to save lives – I urge everyone to consider other ways to show support.”
On the Facebook page for the protest, organisers have asked attendees to wear masks, bring hand sanitiser, social distance as much as possible, and to self quarantine for two weeks after the protest.
Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, or anyone who lives with someone who is immunocompromised, has been urged not to attend.
Premier Daniel Andrews has also strengthened his stance against the protest.
Initially Mr Andrews did not tell people not to attend the event, but he today said the mass gathering poses a public health risk, and urged Victorians not to attend.
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Fun fact: We did the maths this morning.
If the 30,000 people who’ve expressed interest in Saturday’s #BLM protest attend and observe social distancing rules, it will stretch from Parliament House to roughly Wallan.
— 3AW Breakfast (@RossAndJohn) June 4, 2020
Image: Scott Barbour / Getty