World News – UA – What Victorians can expect when Daniel Andrews eases restrictions today


More than 100 days after being plunged back into lockdown, Melbourne’s restrictions are set to ease And the government has also promised more relaxed rules in the country

He warned the rules would not be as easy as expected But the recent success of removing the numbers means « important steps » will be taken

According to the original plan, nothing was actually supposed to change in Melbourne today The city was to stay on the ‘second leg’ of the roadmap until October 26

But when the number of cases started to drop faster than expected, the government brought forward the date for the move to ‘step three’

However, it depended on whether the state averages less than five new daily cases and no more than five mystery cases over a two-week period.

These targets were not quite met – on Saturday the average daily case count was just over eight and there were 17 mysterious cases in Melbourne

The roadmap plan is therefore no longer a reliable guide But the third initial step included:

« We cannot just open all the doors, get rid of all the rules and move towards the COVID standard, » the Prime Minister said yesterday « We have to do it in a safe and regular way »

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt yesterday used Twitter to pressure M Andrews to adopt restrictions to align with NSW, where the rules were relaxed again this week

On Friday, up to 500 Sydneysiders can attend a concert, 300 at a corporate event and 150 at a wedding

The reception areas can accommodate one person every two square meters outdoors and one person every four square meters indoors

Indeed, New South Wales has consistently seen a higher daily number of cases than Victoria this week But Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton stressed yesterday that NSW’s 14-day moving average remains around half that of Victoria

The Premier prefers international comparisons He says that while Melburnians have earned the right to be optimistic for the summer, countries in the northern hemisphere that relaxed rules too quickly are now heading for a « killer winter « 

« Look at France, look at England, look at the whole of the United States, » he said this week. « They are not getting out of restrictions, they are heading for lockdowns »

The limit on movement within a 5 km radius of a person’s home has been criticized by the Victorian opposition and some experts, who say it is disproportionate to the threat

A Roy Morgan SMS poll of over 1,000 Victorian-era people this week found almost three-quarters wanted the restriction to go away

On October 5, Professor Sutton said he was not sure the 5 km restriction would be lifted, but a 10 km extension was being considered

Then on Thursday Deputy Health Director Allen Cheng said a 20km restriction was under consideration, with modeling underway on that option.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said on Friday « all of these issues are under consideration » when asked whether the 5km rule will be dropped or changed

This is a departure from the original roadmap for the Melbourne metropolis, which was to allow intra-state travel during this next step

As part of the city’s roadmap, the third step allows each household to create a « bubble » with another household, allowing visits between the two houses

The Prime Minister said this week he was focusing on easing social rather than trade restrictions

« It is much more in the social space than in the economic space, » he said at the press conference on Friday, of the upcoming changes

But he also warned that socializing at home could be more dangerous than elsewhere, as people often let down their guards, remove their masks, and do not practice social distancing.

Businesses operated as take-out only, or were shut down completely, during the second lockdown

When asked about cafes and restaurants, the Prime Minister said: « I tried to be very clear that it would not be safe for us to make these kinds of decisions »

But hospitality industry leaders have campaigned to have cafes, restaurants and pubs open again for indoor dining with COVID-safe plans, arguing that many companies cannot offer exterior options and will not survive restrictions any longer

Many retail players are also arguing to be allowed to reopen – but Mr. Andrews said it may not yet be safe enough to do so

The Prime Minister said on Friday there would be changes to the restrictions that residents of the Victoria area live with

« There are opportunities for us to expand the parameters in the Victoria area as the numbers are very low and we will have more to say about that on Sunday, » he said

« Not all rules will be disabled … but there will be other safe steps we can take in many parts of the Victoria area as this is a low virus community

« Melbourne is a top viral community and we keep the two apart as well as possible »

The Prime Minister said the ‘steel ring’ border between Melbourne and the regions would be strengthened to reduce the number of people traveling between the two regions

This is also a deviation from the original roadmaps, which only listed additional restrictions that eased in the Victoria area only after the entire state registered 14 days without new case

« There will be rules, » he said, « This is no reason to travel outside of metropolitan Melbourne and take a de facto few days off »

On Friday he said there would be a structured system, with penalties for people who abuse the rules

It’s not clear, but at least some changes should be implemented from Monday, as planned in the roadmap

« Tomorrow will not be all the steps we hoped to take tomorrow, » M said yesterday. Andrews

« But we’ll have more to say about what next weekend will look like and the weekend after And people will have the capacity to plan »

The original roadmap saw Melbourne take the final stage on November 23 This was to include outdoor gatherings of 50 people and up to 20 in a house

Retail, hospitality, intra-state travel and some big events were also part of this last step, before moving to « normal COVID » when there are no new cases during 28 days, no active cases and no « outbreaks of concern » between states

« That’s a perfectly legitimate question – what if three months go by and we have X cases a day? » the prime minister said yesterday But he did not respond

« It’s not for today, it might not even be for tomorrow – but we’ll talk about it a bit more in the coming weeks »

He added that when outbreaks are detected, more people are likely to be placed in isolation – including secondary contacts or « contacts of contacts »

« These few hundred [isolated] people essentially allow hundreds of thousands more to be open and go about their business, » the prime minister said

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

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News from the world – AU – What Victorians can expect when Daniel Andrews loosens restrictions today


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