Acting premier James Merlino said, as a result of the case numbers, Victoria will move to the restrictions he outlined yesterday.
Acting Premier James Merlino has delivered some good news to regional Victoria, announcing restrictions in Regional Victoria will ease at 11:59pm tonight. Unfortunately for our friends in Melbourne, he also confirmed the new lockdown restrictions outlined yesterday will go ahead as planned for another seven days.
“At 11.59pm tonight, Victoria will move to the restrictions I outlined yesterday based on public health advice, and I will just take you that through again,” Mr Merlino said.
“In Melbourne, there are five reasons to leave home: shopping, care and caregiving, work, getting vaccinated, exercising. People can travel to an expanded 10-kilometre radius.
“Students in years 10, 11 and 12 and starting units three and four of the BCE will be back at school on Friday. A number of jobs will be added to the authorised list: landscaping, installing solar panels.
“Other restrictions, including mask-wearing, will stay the same.”
While our hearts break for the greater Melbourne area, regional Victoria’s were offered a glimmer of normality with the easing of restrictions to come into place tonight.
“The Chief Health Officer has confirmed that the easing of regional restrictions will occur as planned tonight. That is great news for regional Victoria. That means lifting the stay-at-home and travel restrictions,” Merlino said.
“All year levels and students will return to face-to-face schooling. Public gatherings, catching up at a park or a beach, will be increased to 10 people.
“Restaurants and cafes can open to a maximum of 50. Retail, beauty and personal care, entertainment venues and community facilities will open in line with density limits. Religious ceremonies and funerals will be capped at 50. Weddings at 10.
“We will move to work or study from home if you can and offices will be capped at 50 per cent. Some things will not change, as we talked about yesterday. Visitors to the home are still not okay and we still need masks worn inside.”
With just three cases recorded overnight, there were concerns after fragments of the virus were detected in wastewater at Bendigo and Axedale and the COVID exposure sites at Anglesea, Axedale, Glenrowan, Kalkallo, Wallan and Rye. But during Thursday’s press conference, Acting Premier James Merlino said there was still no community transmission in the regions.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has said he has “great confidence” restrictions will be eased at the end of next week but travel will still not be allowed from Melbourne to regional areas over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
Instead of the Ring of Steel, there will be roving police patrols to keep metropolitan Melbourne out.
Gatherings at the home are still not allowed in regional Victoria under the eased restrictions.
For more information on the announcement, visit the Premier of Victoria website.