Daniel Andrews finally eases Melbourne’s lockdown – increasing travel limit to 25km, opening hairdressers and allowing groups of 10 outdoors – but pubs and retail will stay SHUT
- Victoria reported two new coronavirus cases and zero deaths overnight
- Premier Daniel Andrews announced number of changes to Melbourne lockdown
- The five kilometre travel restriction has been extended to 25 kilometres
- Retail businesses and pubs will have to wait until November 1 for rollbacks
Melburnians will be allowed to travel 25km from home and there will be no limits on time spent outdoors as a part of eased COVID-19 restrictions due to start Monday.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced the relaxed lockdown rules on Sunday, after authorities confirmed the state had two new cases of coronavirus and no further deaths.
Under the new rules, groups of up to 10 people from two households can gather outdoors and tennis courts, skate parks and golf courses will reopen.
Hairdressers will also reopen and outdoor pools will be able to host 30 swimmers, while real estate auctions will go ahead outdoors with up to 10 bidders.
But Melbourne businesses must wait longer for eased restrictions, with Mr Andrews confirming that retail, hospitality and ‘personal care’ services will stay shut until November 1.
‘There is some optimism, confidence even, but if things continue this week as they have the last five days, we may be able to bring that forward,’ he said of the wait for business operators.
Despite recording just five coronavirus cases in the last three days – compared to 17 cases in NSW – Melburnians are still banned from inviting friends over to their house.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced a number of social restrictions will be eased from midnight with businesses told they will have to wait another couple of weeks before reopening
The 5 kilometre travel restriction will be extended to 25 kilometres from 11.59pm on Sunday
Melbourne’s lockdown changes explained
From 11.59pm Sunday October 18th in Melbourne:
* Two-hour outdoor time limit scrapped
* 5km travel restriction extended to 25km
* Outdoor gatherings up from five to 10
* Face-to-face allied health appointments to resume
* Tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen
* Outdoor swimming pools open to a maximum of 30 swimmers
* Hairdressers can reopen
* Outdoor real estate auctions permitted with up to 10 people, plus staff
From 11.59pm on November 1 in Melbourne:
* Up to two people, plus dependents, allowed to visit a home per day
* All retail shops can open
* Hospitality: maximum of 20 indoor seated customers (subject to one per four sqm), maximum of 50 outdoor patrons (subject to one per two sqm)
* Beauty and personal care services open
* Wedding groups of up to 10 permitted
* Up to 20 mourners allowed at funerals
* Outdoor religious gatherings and ceremonies capped at 20 people
Major restrictions remain:
* Approved face masks must be worn at all times outside home
* Work from home if possible
* All businesses must have a COVID-safe plan
Mr Andrews reiterated that Victorians would not be allowed to gather and celebrate the upcoming AFL Grand Final next weekend.
‘You cannot have friends over into your home. You cannot pretend that it is over because we all desperately want it to be,’ he said.
‘I know that many people would normally spend time with family and friends to celebrate that day … it is a big part of who we are.’
‘As important as it is, in a cultural sense, in a very passionate way, for every single football fan across our state, it is not worth risking all that we have done, all that we have built, all that we can do in just a few days’ time by having gatherings that are unsafe.’
Under Andrews’ relaxed lockdown beginning Monday, outdoor maintenance and repair workers, mobile pet groomers and photographers will also be allowed to return to work.
Mr Andrews said more significant changes would come into place from 11.59pm on November 1, including allowing up to two adults and their children to visit a home each day.
All retail shops will also be given the clear to open up, including beauty and personal care services, with wedding groups of up to 10 permitted and 20 mourners allowed at funerals.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to open up with a maximum of 20 indoor seated customers and 50 outdoors from November 1.
Hairdressers will also reopen and outdoor pools will be able to host 30 swimmers
The cap on outdoor gatherings will be increased to 10 people from two households
For months, Melburnians have only been permitted to travel within a 5km radius of their home and only for a maximum period of one or two hours.
“I’ve announced today what is safe but what will not undermine the efforts that Victorians have put in,” Mr Andrews said.
‘Victorians have done an amazing job over recent weeks and months.
‘We in Melbourne and Victoria are well placed to have a COVID safe summer. Yes these lockdowns have come with significant pain and damage, but this strategy is working.’
In August Victoria was reporting more than 700 COVID-19 cases each day. For the past five days, the state has had single-digit new diagnoses each day.
The latest rolling daily case count is 7.5 in metropolitan Melbourne for the fortnight up to Saturday. Regional Victoria’s two-week average is 0.5.
Mr Andrews also announced a raft of changes coming into effect in regional Victoria from 11.59pm on Sunday.
Hospitality venues outside of Melbourne will increase their capacity to 70 pepole outside and 40 people inside.
Outdoor religious gatherings will also increase to 20 people, and the cap will be extended again to 50 people from midnight on November 1.
Mr Andrews revealed the ‘ring of steel’ border closures between Melbourne and regional Victoria would remain closed.
‘Victorians in every community, in every circumstance have stayed the course,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘We have just a little longer to go to beat that second wave and then find that normal and find that process of rebuilding.’
But Melbourne businesses must wait longer for eased restrictions, with Mr Andrews confirming that changes to retail, hospitality and ‘personal care’ services won’t change until midnight November 1
Mr Andrews reiterated that Victorians would not be allowed to gather and celebrate the upcoming AFL Grand Final next weekend
Federal health minister Greg Hunt has urged the Victorian government to ease restrictions in line with NSW.
‘The epidemiological conditions for a COVID-safe reopening of hospitality, movement (and) family reunions among others, have now been firmly met,’ Mr Hunt posted on Twitter on Saturday.
‘Victoria should now be able to move to the next step in line (with) NSW.’
However Mr Andrews said Mr Hunt was not an epidemiologist and accused him of ‘playing games’, adding that he would not be rushed to lift restrictions.
Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria’s 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source.
Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria’s 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source (pictured, a COVID-19 pop-up clinic at Shepparton)