Regional lockdown set to ease
LOCKDOWN restrictions in regional Victoria will 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, sighting the number of active cases in the community, volume of exposure sites and the highly transmissible nature of the current 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 for 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.
“With no community transmission in regional Victoria this week, regional restrictions are proposed to begin easing from 11.59pm tomorrow night. We’ll use the next 24 hours to continue tracing and testing and confirm that this change can go ahead,” Mr Merlino said.
“I’ll say from the outset, this won’t be what everyone hoped for – but these are the responsible and proportional adjustments we can make now, while continuing to keep our regional communities safe.”
Masks will still need to be worn inside when away from home, 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, the 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 kilometers.
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-minute 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 current total to 60.
Currently there are more than 300 listed exposure sites on the DDHS website.
Read the Acting Premier’s full statement here.
A full list if changes to restrictions can be seen here.