Victoria’s chief health officer has revealed he did not recommend Melbourne’s crippling curfew but premier Daniel Andrews imposed it anyway.
Under some of the toughest coronavirus restrictions in the world, five million Melbourne residents are not allowed out of their homes between 9pm and 5am.
Professor Brett Sutton today revealed the curfew was not requested by medical experts but was brought in as the government declared a state of disaster on August 2, on the advice of the emergency management commissioner.
Victoria’s chief health officer (pictured) has revealed he did not recommend Melbourne’s crippling curfew but premier Daniel Andrews imposed it anyway
Under some of the toughest coronavirus restrictions in the world, five million Melbourne residents (pictures) are not allowed out of their homes between 9pm and 5am
Previously a state of emergency was in place which did not give the government as much power to enforce restrictions.
‘The curfew came in as part of the state of disaster… it wasn’t a state of emergency requirement,’ Professor told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
‘It wasn’t something that I was against from a public health perspective.
‘I was consulted on it but it was a separate decision-making pathway.’
Asked for his view on the curfew, Professor Sutton said: ‘I haven’t reflected on it, I think it has been useful. If I put my mind to it, probably.’
Later in the interview, Professor Sutton denied any rumours that he had fallen out with Mr Andrews and said: ‘We’ve worked very well together.’
‘I get along pretty well with all sorts hopefully across the political spectrum and across all the various personality types,’ he said.
Premier Daniel Andrews
‘My gig is to provide straight up robust advice.
‘I’m pretty comfortable with giving it, maybe when it’s not comfortably received.’
On Tuesday Victoria reported eight more coronavirus deaths and new cases rose slightly to 55.
Under Mr Andrews’ road map to easing restrictions, released on Sunday, lockdown will only end when there are an average of five cases per day, which is not expected in Melbourne until October 26.
Until then, a curfew will be in place from 9pm to 5am and residents can only leave home for exercise, shopping, school and work, and caregiving.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the road map was a ‘worst-case scenario’ plan and should be sped up.
But Mr Andrews said in a press conference on Tuesday: ‘I’d say to the prime minister, the worst-case scenario is being open for three or four weeks and then closed down again. That’s the worst-case scenario. Absolutely that’s the worst-case scenario.’
He added: ‘I will continue to work closely with the prime minister and his team. We’re grateful for the partnership that we have, but in my judgment, if I can be so bold as to have a judgment on these things, I think I’ve got some insight into what’s happening here in our state.
‘The worst-case scenario is you’re open for three or four weeks because you pretend it’s over … and then we’re all back locked down again.
‘There would be 15 minutes of happiness and then we’d be back in lockdown and arguably facing an even worse situation than we face now.’
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