Regional lockdown set to ease
LOCKDOWN restrictions in regional Victoria are proposed to be eased, while the containment measure has been extended in metropolitan Melbourne for the next seven days.
The announcement was made by Acting Premier James Merlino at a press conference this morning, citing the number of active cases in the community, volume of exposure sites and the highly transmissible nature of this strain of the virus.
“If we let this thing run its course, it will explode… people will die,” he said.
From 11.59pm tomorrow, regional Victoria is set to have different restrictions to metropolitan Melbourne, including removal of the five reasons to leave home, and no travel restrictions but with new rules on travel to Melbourne.
Masks will still need to be worn inside, but no longer required outside if social distancing of 1.5 meters isn’t possible.
At school, all year levels and all students will return to face-to-face schooling.
Outdoor public gatherings will be increase to ten people and restaurants and cafés can reopen to a maximum of 50.
Retail, beauty and personal care, entertainment venues and community facilities will also open in line with density limits.
Religious ceremonies and funerals will be capped at 50, weddings at 10.
Children can return to community sport, but adults are limited to training only.
Meanwhile, offices occupancy will be capped at 50 per cent.
In Melbourne, extended lockdown means there are still only five reasons to leave home; for food and supplies, authorised work, care and caregiving, exercise for up to two hours with up to one other person, and getting vaccinated. The travel radius has been expanded to 10 kilometres.
If you travel to Melbourne from regional Victoria, the Melbourne-based restrictions will apply.
Across the state QR check-ins are now mandatory in all retail settings, including supermarkets and shops and the 15-minuate rule no longer applies, meaning if you enter the store, you must scan the code.
In an attempt to keep the outbreak out of regional Victoria, restaurants and beauty locations must now check everyone’s ID as a way of detecting people from metro Melbourne who have left the city without authorisation.
This morning, the Department of Health and Human Services reported six new COVID cases, bringing the state’s total to 60.
There are more than 300 listed exposure sites on the DHHS website.
Read the Acting Premier’s full statement here.
A full list of changes to restrictions can be seen here.