Premier Daniel Andrews has warned ‘thousands’ of Victorians would die if strict coronavirus restrictions were to be lifted.
Stage Four restrictions in Melbourne, and Stage Three in the rest of the state, are set to lift on September 13 at 11.59pm after weeks of enduring the miserable lockdown.
But speaking on Saturday, a day ahead of his announcement on easing restrictions, Mr Andrews said lockdown was unlikely to end.
‘To open up with those numbers would, of course, see the total number of coronavirus infections explode,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘It would see many, many hundreds, indeed thousands, of Victorians infected with this virus.
While the Victorian government has claimed the leaked map is ‘out of date’, Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) on Thursday refused to rule out continuing Stage Four restrictions
‘So, as frustrating, as challenging as it is, we need to stay the course on this.
‘That’s why tomorrow we will outline a road map to ease these important restrictions, to ease out of the second wave, once it’s appropriately and properly defeated. Truly defeated.’
Victoria recorded 76 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths on Saturday, with the welcome infection numbers coming after a spike earlier in the week saw 113 new cases after days of double digit transmission.
Friday was Victoria’s deadliest day of the pandemic so far, with 59 deaths announced – but 50 of those had occurred back in July and August in aged care homes.
The new deaths come as bombshell leaked documents reveal Melbourne’s strict stage four lockdown could be extended (pictured, police roam Melbourne on Thursday)
Melbourne’s Stage Four lockdown, with the rest of the state in Stage Three – regardless of how many coronavirus cases towns have – had come under increasing scrutiny as the numbers fall.
Bombshell leaked documents revealed on Thursday that Melbourne’s strict Stage Four lockdown could be extended by another two weeks.
A top secret draft for Victoria’s recovery appeared to reveal the government’s plan to extend the 8pm-5am curfew and keep restrictions on businesses for an additional two weeks.
While the Victorian government has claimed the leaked map is ‘out of date’, Mr Andrews on Thursday refused to rule out continuing Stage Four restrictions.
If COVID-19 infections were to spread out-of-control, Australia’s health system could become overwhelmed, according to modelling by the Grattan Institute (pictured, their report)
‘Everything is on the table,’ he admitted. ‘It will be driven by the data and the science, how many cases there are, the types of cases there are.’
According to the road map, residents will be given the luxury of two hours of exercise a day, which can be split into two sessions, from September 14 – the official date Stage Four comes to an end.
The decision will be announced on Sunday.
Single people and single parents would also be given the right to have a nominated visitor at their home.
According to the report, which was obtained by the Herald Sun, there are bigger changes coming from September 28, which includes the curfew being lifted and increased social gatherings.
But the Victorian Chamber of Commerce has denied there is a plan to extend Stage Four lockdown by two weeks – claiming it is out of date.
WHAT MELBOURNE’S STAGE FOUR LOCKDOWN MEANS FOR YOU
State of disaster: Increased police powers to enforce the lockdown. Cautions will no longer be issued, only $1,652 fines or court summons
Curfew: No one allowed outside 8pm to 5am except for work, medical, caregiving – no shopping or exercising
Distance limit: Shopping and exercise can only be done 5km from home
Exercise: All recreational activity is banned and you can only exercise, with one other person, for one hour a day
Partners: You can visit a boyfriend or girlfriend who doesn’t live with you, even if they live more than 5km away
Shopping: Only one person can go shopping per household per day
Cafes and restaurants stay open for takeaway, as do supermarkets, etc
Schools: All students learning from home unless they are vulnerable or parents are essential workers. Kindy and childcare closed
Funerals: No change to funeral limits, but only 10 mourners can leave Melbourne to regional Victoria for one
Weddings: Completely banned
Public transport: Slashed after 8pm and cancelled late at night
Community sport: All community sport across Victoria is now banned. Only exercise is allowed within the permitted public gathering limits of two people.