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Coronavirus restrictions to ease in Victoria

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Coronavirus restrictions to ease in Victoria


Melbourne’s average daily COVID-19 cases have dipped below one as the Victorian Government prepares to reveal the next steps out of lockdown with more restrictions to ease on Sunday.

Victoria has recorded eight consecutive days of zero cases and on Friday Premier Daniel Andrews said “significant announcements” would be made about the easing of restrictions.

“This Sunday we will make really significant announcements about taking significant steps,” he said.

“We will also map out what the rest of November will look like.”

The Premier said he couldn’t predict what he would announce other that what he had previously outlined but believes the government is “on track”.

More COVID-19 related restrictions are set to ease across Victoria on Sunday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ian Currie
media_cameraMore COVID-19 related restrictions are set to ease across Victoria on Sunday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ian Currie

Almost three weeks ago, Mr Andrews outlined the first steps out of the state’s harsh lockdown while highlighting some of the restrictions that could be eased as part of the second and third steps.

RESTRICTIONS SET TO EASE

If the next step on the road map goes ahead, from 11.59pm Sunday, Melbourne’s “ring of steel” – which has been up since July 9 and separates the city from regional Victoria – will be scrapped.

People will be free to come and go from their homes as often as they please and indoor gyms will reopen for the first time since July.

But there will be a cap on the number of people allowed in, with 10 per class or space and up to 20 for each venue.

The controversial 25km travel restriction will also be dropped.

Capacity in pubs, cafes and restaurants will be increased from 20 to 40 indoors and up to 70 outdoors, and bookings of up to 10 will be allowed.

But venues must adhere to the one person per four-squared-metres rule.

The Andrews Government will make an announcement on Sunday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Daniel Pockett
media_cameraThe Andrews Government will make an announcement on Sunday. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Daniel Pockett

Outdoor gatherings will be limited to groups of 10.

However there’s expected to be no change to the number of people who can enter your household, which is currently two people (and dependants) from the same residential address.

The Andrews Government has remained conservative when it comes to allowing people into your home amid fears it could be a breeding ground for COVID-19.

“We must understand, all of us — the most dangerous environment for the spread of this virus is in your home,” the Premier previously said.

“When you have visitors, you let your guard down, and they go back to their house, they have visitors and all of a sudden there are chains of transmission that spread silently.”

There will be no changes in schools or childcare centres, which are both actively open but any adults who are studying are encouraged to take classes from home.

Victorians must also continue working from home if they can.

It’s likely there will be no changes made to weddings (up to 10 people) but funeral numbers may increase to up to 50 outdoors. The limit on 20 indoors is predicted to stay the same.

There’s been a big push to get kids moving again and from this Sunday children younger than 18 will be allowed to participate in indoor non-contact sports.

Outdoor bootcamps will be given the green light, as long as numbers are restricted to 10 and social distancing is possible.

Indoor pools can host up to 20 people and 50 for outdoor pools.

For religious gatherings, up to 20 people (plus a faith leader) will be allowed indoors, and up to 50 people (plus a faith leader) outdoors.

The state has recorded eight days of no cases. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ian Currie
media_cameraThe state has recorded eight days of no cases. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Ian Currie

Despite the government remaining adamant masks will stay, a report in the Herald Sun suggested the state government may loosen rules after the Crisis Council of Cabinet meeting on Saturday.

According to the publication, there has been discussion between health authorities that requirements around masks could be removed when outdoors or alone.

Last week Mr Andrews also highlighted he would have more to say on November 8 about what Christmas may look like for Victorians.

“If we continue to follow the rules, as frustrating as they are, then we will be able to have, not a normal Christmas, we can’t deliver that, but we’ll have COVID-normal Christmas where you can have family around home and celebrate something that looks much, much more like a normal Christmas than we perhaps have imagined at any point this year,” he told reporters.

Venues will be allowed to open their doors to more patrons under new rules. Picture: David Crosling
media_cameraVenues will be allowed to open their doors to more patrons under new rules. Picture: David Crosling

“But the day for us to paint that more complete picture of the rest of 2020 is indeed the 8th (November 8).”

The easing of restrictions comes as Melbourne welcomes back inbound international flights from New Zealand.

Travellers from across the ditch will be able to fly directly into Melbourne and travel throughout Victoria without undergoing quarantine, as the state moves to join the travel bubble already in place in NSW.

The announcement will come just a few days after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed she would open the border to Victorians on November 23.

Originally published as Victoria virus rules to change tomorrow

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