VICTORIA’S BUNGLED HOTEL QUARANTINE PROGRAM – KEY DATES:
* March 16 – State of emergency declared in Victoria, returned travellers instructed to undergo 14-days of quarantine at home.
* March 27 – National cabinet decides returned travellers will be subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine “at designated facilities, for example, in a hotel”.
* May 27 – Outbreak at Rydges on Swanston first identified.
* May 31 – Victoria’s state of emergency extended for three weeks ahead of stage-three restrictions easing the next day. Four new COVID-19 cases, 74 active cases.
* June 6 – No new cases for the first time since March 5.
* June 9 – Students return to school.
* June 17 – Stamford Plaza outbreak identified; Victoria records 21 new COVID-19 cases – its highest increase in more than a month.
* June 21 – Further easing of restrictions.
* June 26 – Concerns grow about the program after it’s revealed 30 per cent of travellers are refusing tests. Confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
* June 29 – Hot spot suburbs in Melbourne’s north and north-west return to lockdown and all international flights into the city are put on hold for two weeks.
* July 2 – Inquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine program announced.
* July 4 – A full lockdown is announced at short notice for nine Melbourne public housing towers. Victoria records 108 new cases – its first day above 100 since late March.
* July 6 – The Victoria-NSW border shuts for the first time in a century.
* July 8 – Melbourne and Mitchell Shire placed into stage-three lockdown for six weeks.
* July 13 – Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton tells ABC Radio that it was conceivable all current cases in Victoria could be traced back to outbreaks stemming from the hotel quarantine system.
* July 17 – 428 new COVID-19 cases – the record daily total in Australia
* July 20 – Hotel Quarantine Inquiry begins. Victoria records 275 new COVID-19 cases, the 15th consecutive day of triple-digit increases in new infections. The state’s death toll grows to 39 after a woman in her 80s died.
* August 6 – Public hearings set to begin.
* September 25 – Final report due