Rogue Banyule residents have been spotted trying to escape to the healthy clime of Nillumbik, as the neighbouring municipalities continue to register starkly different COVID-19 infection rates. As daily statistics suggest Banyule has much higher infection rates during Melbourne’s current second wave, it seems some residents are seeking shelter in the relatively safer council area of Nillumbik.

Eye-witnesses at one of the main border crossings between the two councils, the Macorna Street bridge that crosses over the Ring Road, have reported a significant increase in foot traffic in the past week. One anonymous witness told The Watsonia Bugle, “Yeah man, there’s definitely been more people escaping to the north. Normally it’s just bike riders and dog walkers, but this week I’ve seen people carrying suitcases and those big trolley cart things that people take to the beach during summer. It’s been a mass exodus.”

Meanwhile, one long-time Watsonia North resident claimed the odd migration was roughly mirroring the development of COVID-19 cases in rival capital cities Melbourne and Sydney. According to Dane Lennon, “Just like they say Melbourne is two weeks ahead of Sydney in both cultural and COVID matters, Banyule has always been slightly more advanced than Nillumbik. I mean, Nillumbik even tried to merge with Banyule last year, remember? And the way things are going this year, who doesn’t want to hit rewind and go back in time a little? But trust me, those people trying to escape to Nillumbik this week will be back in Banyule before you know it. One look at the higher rates and the fact you have to associate with Elthamites will have them dashing back across the border real quick.”