Victoria’s premier has announced a five-step roadmap for moving the state out of lockdown.
Experts say Victoria will not be in a position to reopen as planned on 14 September, as modelling predicts a potential third wave if the stage four restrictions are lifted too soon.
In an announcement within the last hour, the state premier Daniel Andrews said Melbourne city’s have been extended for two weeks, but he gave details of some changes to current restrictions.
Modifications to the restrictions would include starting the curfew one hour later, to run from 9pm to 5am.
Public gatherings of two people, or a household, will be allowed for up to two hours a day, which Andrews said could involve exercising or spending time outside.
Andrews also said there would be social “bubbles” for those living on their own.
Andrews earlier indicated case numbers will need to drop to single digits before reopening the economy. The next planned stages of eased restrictions would all be dependent on health advice at the time, he said.
But from 28 September, if the daily average of new cases remains between 30 and 50, the roadmap released by the government states new, eased rules could come into effect.
From October 26, if the daily average of new cases is fewer than five and there are fewer than five cases with an unknown source in the preceding fortnight, futher easing can take place.
From 23 November, if there are no new cases in the state for 14 days, restrictions could be further eased.
Changes from 28 September under certain conditions:
- Public gatherings would be increased to five people from up to two households
- There would be a staged return to classroom learning for prep, grade 1 and 2, VCE and VCAL and specialist schools for term four
- Childcare would reopen
- Outdoor personal training would be allowed with up to two people per trainer within 5km of a person’s home
- Outdoor pools would reopen
- Religious gatherings would be allowed outdoors, with up to five people plus one faith leader
Changes from 26 October under certain conditions
- The curfew would be ended
- There would be no restrictions on reasons to leave home and the 5km limit would end
- Public gatherings would be increased to up to 10 people outdoors
- A “household bubble” could be created with one nominated household, allowing up to five visitors from that household at a time (with infants under 12 months not counted as a visitor)
- Grade 3 to 10 may start to return to classroom learning, subject to health advice
- Hairdressing and non-essential retail would reopen
- Cafes, restaurants and pubs could begin to offer dine-in service, with predominantly outdoor seated service, subject to further industry consultation
- There would be a staged return to outdoor, non-contact adult sport
- Real estate agents would be allowed to hold private inspections and outdoor auctions subject to gathering limits
- Weddings would be allowed with up to 10 people including essential participants
- Funerals would be allowed with up to 20 people (not including infants under 12 months)
- Outdoor religious gatherings would be allowed for up to 10 people plus a faith leader
- Accommodation could reopen “with caps per the social bubble”