Melbourne’s tough stage four restrictions have been extended by another two weeks, while the city’s lockdown won’t be fully lifted until November 23.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says stage four restrictions will remain in place but from September 14, the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9pm, instead of 8pm, and run until 5am.
People living alone can nominate a friend or family member who can visit them and two hours of daily exercise will be allowed, including ‘social interactions’ such as having a picnic at a local park or reading a book at the beach.
‘So, much like the way intimate partner arrangements will work now, singles, those who live alone, will be able to partner up with somebody else and they will be able to visit each other,’ Mr Andrews said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the tough restrictions will be extended from 11.59pm on September 13 for an extra 14 days
‘The five kilometre rule will not apply, but the curfew will. So it is essentially extending those arrangements for partners who don’t live in the same household to those who live on their own.’
Further restrictions could be eased from September 28 and the government will consider lifting the curfew entirely from October 26.
‘We can’t run out of lockdown. We have to take steady and safe steps out of lockdown to find that COVID normal,’ Mr Andrew said on Sunday.
From next Sunday, exercise will be increased to two hours per day up from the one hour per day.
Public outdoor gatherings of two people will also be allowed and playgrounds can reopen from next Sunday.
From September 28, subject to public health advice, public gatherings will increased to five people from two households.
Mr Andrews said the fourth and final step of his roadmap to recovery will come into effect on November 23, subject to public health advice.
Mr Andrews stressed the importance of easing slowly into normal life to avoid a dreaded third wave.
‘If we open up too fast then we have a very high likelihood, a very high likelihood that we are not really opening up at all. We are just beginning a third wave,’ he said.
Melbourne ‘s tough stage four restrictions have been extended by another two weeks, while the city’s lockdown won’t be fully lifted until November 23
Victorians were warned earlier on Sunday that daily coronavirus cases might not be low enough by mid-September, raising the prospect of more months under lockdown.
University of Melbourne modelling says based on current levels of social distancing, the 14-day case average was likely to be around 63 cases by September 17.
‘With so many cases in the community, re-opening at this point will risk a resurgence, undoing all of the gains achieved from lockdown,’ the modelling released by the state government overnight on Saturday concluded.
If that happened, restrictions could be ‘reimposed and last much longer’.
‘Keeping Stage 4 restrictions until case numbers are low enough to safely reopen will enable all Victorians to get back to COVID-normal, faster,’ the modelling said.
On Friday, Victoria’s 14-day case average was 116.
On Sunday, it recorded 63 new cases and five more deaths.
This takes the state’s total fatalities to 666 and the national death toll to 753.