Victoria has reported 55 new coronavirus cases and eight deaths as Premier Daniel Andrews is slammed over his ‘unrealistic’ target to end lockdown.
The new infections come after the state recorded 41 new cases on Monday – its lowest daily figure since June 26.
Mr Andrews unveiled his long-awaited four-step roadmap on Sunday, revealing Melbourne will continue under strict curfew and lockdown until the end of September.
Moving between the stages of the roadmap relies on new infections dropping to five or fewer in one major step, and no new cases for two weeks for the final phase.
Victoria reported 55 new coronavirus cases and eight deaths on Tuesday. Pictured: A delivery driver is seen on Bourke Street in Melbourne on Sunday
Prime Minister Scott Morrison slammed the state’s plan and argued the same standards would put Sydney under curfew.
‘The plan that was outlined yesterday, I hope, is a worst-case scenario,’ he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
‘Under the thresholds that have been set in that plan, Sydney would be under curfew now.’
But Mr Andrews dismissed the comparisons, noting NSW had not experienced the same level of community transmission as Victoria.
‘That’s not a point of pride, that’s just a fact,’ he told reporters.
‘I’ve seen this commentary that under our settings, they’d be in lockdown – no they wouldn’t, because they’ve not had the community transmission that we’ve had.
‘We are different.’
Pictured: People sit on the State Library lawn during Melbourne’s Stage Four lockdown on Sunday
Professor Peter Collignon from the Australian National University, said Victoria’s strategy to eliminate COVID-19 is ‘not sustainable’ and unlikely to be achieved in the timeline set down by the state Premier.
‘It’s much harder than any other state has tried and secondly, a lot hinges on very good contact tracing and so far Victoria has not been able to do it as good as other States,’ he told channel 9’s Today show.
‘They still don’t have quick contact tracing and there is a lot of undefined cases where they don’t know where they came from.’
Professor Collignon said that internationally, tougher restrictions have not necessarily resulted in better outcomes.
Places like California, Spain and New Zealand all enforced very strict lockdowns in an attempt to fully eliminate COVID-19, but later suffered a second wave of cases.
‘Nobody has achieved that except Taiwan. New Zealand tried but it didn’t work. It came back and that is almost inevitable over the next few years unless we have a vaccine that is 90 percent effective,’ he said.
More to come
MELBOURNE’S ROADMAP OUT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:
Step one: The first step will come in to place on September 13.
Step two: The second step will be implemented when Melbourne has 30-50 COVID-19 cases a day on average over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on September 28.
Step three: The move to step three will occur when there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on October 26.
Step four: The move to step four will come when there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on November 23.
COVID Normal: After 28 days of no new COVID-19 cases, things will return to normal.
Step one – 11.59pm on September 13:
– Curfew will be eased to 9pm-5am
– People can still only leave home for the four reasons (shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention)
– Public gatherings increased to two people, or a household, for a maximum of two hours
– Singles can have one nominated person to their home as part of the ‘singles social bubble’
– Childcare and early educators to remain closed
– Schools will continue to learn remotely unless they have exemptions
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, unless they have exemption
– Only go to work if you are in a permitted industry
– Cafes and restaurants will continue with take away only
– Retail businesses will remain open for essential shopping, with others only operating with click and collect
– Only one person per household can do the essential shopping
Step two – September 28:
– Public gatherings increase again to five people from a maximum of two households
– Childcare and early educators can re-open
– Schools to continue with remote learning, but Prep to Grade Two and Year 11 and Year 12 students will gradually return to class in Term 4
– There will be an increase to permitted workplaces
Step three – October 26:
– Curfew is no longer in place
– There are no restrictions on leaving home
– Public gatherings increase to 10 people together outdoors
– A ‘household bubble’ will be introduced, so five people from one house can visit another
– Remote learning to continue, but Grades 3 to Year 11 can gradually return to class
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, but hands on classes will see a phased return to onsite
– Work from home is encouraged
– Up to 10 people can eat together at restaurants and cafes, with the majority of tables outdoor
– Retail shops to reopen, with hairdresses operating under safety measures but beauty stores to remain closed
– Real estate agents can conduct private inspections by appointment
– The one person per household limit on shopping is to be revoked
Step four – November 23:
– Public gatherings to increase to 50 people outdoors
– Up to 20 visitors can attend a home at any one time
– All adult education will return to onsite with safety measures in place
– Groups limited to 20 indoors and a maximum of 50 patrons per venue
– All retail stores to reopen, while real estate agents can operate with safety measures and by keeping a record of attendants
Step five – COVID normal:
– Public gatherings have no restriction
– There will also be no restriction on visitors to homes
– Phased return to onsite work for work from home workers
– Schools to reopen as normal
– Restrictions on hospitality removed, but venues to continue keeping records