THE “ring of steel” around Melbourne will be gone in two weeks as the state government plans to align the coronavirus restrictions across the state.
Speaking this afternoon, Premier Daniel Andrews announced restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne would significantly ease as of 11.59pm tomorrow (Tuesday, October 27), including no restrictions on the reasons to leave home, all retail opening, hospitality opening for 20 patrons inside and 50 patrons outside, and home visits allowed.
At 11.59pm on November 8, the 25km travel limit for Melburnians will be dropped, the same eased restrictions that now apply to regional Victoria will also apply to Melbourne, and the border between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will also disappear, enabling Victoria, in the words of Mr Andrews, to be “one state again”.
Mr Andrews said he would also reveal, on November 8, more detail about how the restrictions would apply across Victoria for the rest of November “and what a COVID-19 Christmas will look like”.
“We know that longer-term roadmap is very important. We will have more certainty and be able to provide more detail if we just wait these next 10 days and then produce the more complete picture for the rest of the year.
“On November 8, we will have the benefit of having been open for those 10 days and we will be able to complete that picture of what the rest of 2020 looks like.”
Today, Victoria recorded its first day with zero new cases and zero deaths since June 9, and Mr Andrews said it was “a day that every Victorian should be very proud of”.
“Why it is emotional is because people have given a lot, people have done amazing things, extraordinary acts of kindness and commitment and courage.
“None of this has been easy but Victorians have shown what they are made of, looking out for each other, protecting and caring for each other, but also knowing that this virus does not discriminate, this is not about where you live or what you do for a living, how much money you have in the bank or where your parents were born.
“This is everybody’s business and challenge, and together, as a united state we have been able to bring this under control.
“A day of zero cases is an amazing achievement.”
For the latest updates, head to dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.