Stage four restrictions extended as Victorian government reveals ‘COVID Normal’ roadmap

Stage four restrictions extended as Victorian government reveals ‘COVID Normal’ roadmap

Premier Daniel Andrews has just announced Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Metropolitan Melbourne will remain in stage four lockdown until September 28 with the Victorian government announcing the state’s ‘COVID Normal’ roadmap as it looks to ease restrictions over the coming months.

Melbourne’s six-week stage four lockdown period is due to end at midnight on Sunday September 13, however the current rate of transmissions are still too high for Melbourne to look at scaling things back.

63 new COVID-19 cases were recorded overnight, however, last time restrictions were eased, we were averaging around ten new cases per day.

Over the last week, the Victorian government has consulted with a range of health experts, industries, unions and community organisations to develop a ‘COVID Normal’ roadmap. Following extensive research, the expert modelling reveals that if we open up too soon, Melbourne would be looking at a third wave in mid-November.

From midnight on September 13, metropolitan Melbourne will engage in the First Step towards a ‘COVID Normal’. Regional Victoria, currently in stage three restrictions, will jump to a Second Step of reopening.

As part of the First Step, there will be the creation of a “bubble” for people living alone and single parents. This will allow more isolated Victorians to nominate one other friend or family member to visit them at their home.

The first phase of the ‘COVID Normal’ roadmap will also see exercise increased to two hours per day. This could be one two hour block or two one-hour exercise blocks in the day.

You can continue exercising with one other person outside of your household, or those you live with. There will also be a new recreational provision introduced that will see activities such as reading a book in the park or having a picnic permitted within your daily exercise.

As of midnight on September 13, as part of the First Step, the curfew will be altered to 9pm with the government recognising that warmer weather is coming.

The First Step of the ‘COVID Normal’ roadmap for metropolitan Melbourne will be reviewed on September 28 – following that date, the city can look to move to the Second Step of the roadmap with a few conditions. To do so, the average daily case rate in metro Melbourne will have to range between 30 to 50 cases over a 14-day period. A time period of 14 days must be passed for the Second Step to come to fruition.

The Second Step will see the restrictions lessened again with up to five people able to gather together in outdoor public places. This is up to a maximum of two households. The 9pm curfew will remain within the Second Step while nothing will change for restaurants and cafes who can still only operate for takeaway and delivery.

The Third Step of the roadmap can be introduced after October 26 if the daily average case numbers over the previous 14 days is less than five across the state and that none of those cases are from an unknown source.

What will the Third Step look like?

There are no restrictions on leaving home while public gatherings can be increased to up to ten people. Indoor gatherings will be allowed to the tune of five people as long as those members are from one other household only.

The Third Step will see hospitality open for predominantly outdoor-seated service only while all retail will be open, except personal care (hairdressers open), at this time.

The Last Step will then be considered after November 23 where there are no new cases for 14 straight days and will see public gatherings allowed for up to 50 people outdoors. Gatherings at home will be allowed up to 20 visitors at a time as part of this phase. This is among a number of other provisions to be introduced as part of the Last Step.

There are four steps in the ‘COVID Normal’ roadmap. Read about each of the four steps here.

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