Seven weeks ago, average case numbers of fresh COVID-19 infections were peaking at more than 400 every single day and the average now is 22.1. That has made Premier Daniel Andrews very happy who today announced step 2 for reopening Melbourne.
“It’s a remarkable thing – and an achievement that belongs to every single Victorian. Because, with grit and with guts and with heart – we are beating this thing. We are driving it down. We are winning” the Premier told the media announcing Melbourne’s roadmap to re-opening.
“Thanks to those efforts … from 11:59pm tonight, Melbourne will enter the Second Step towards reopening”, the Premier has announced.
To list what is being relaxed as a move forward to step 2 for re-0opening
- From 5.00 AM Monday September 28,Melbourne’s curfew will be scrapped;
- From October 12, specialist school students, primary school, VCE and VCAL students will return to onsite learning; and
- The limit of one person per household to go shopping for essentials will no longer apply.
The next stage – step three for re-opening has been brought forward to October 19, a week earlier than originally scheduled.
Students doing VCE/VCAL subjects will return for assessments from October 5, then for classes from October 12.
Groups of up to five people combined, from two households can get together from Monday 28 September.
Mr Andrews announced a fine of nearly $5,000 would be in place for any unlawful gatherings.
“I would just say, go shopping for the things you need when you need them,” Mr Andrews said.
“It doesn’t need to be just one person any longer but that is not an invitation … for an entire family group to go to the supermarket.”
The two-hour limit on exercise will continue. But Melburnians can now also exercise within a 5-kilometre radius of their workplace, rather than just within a 5km radius of their residence.
The announced daily average of between 30 and 50 new cases over 14-day period to reach the second step, is actually even better and is sitting at 22.1 per day.
For Victorians to have no restrictions to leave home under the third step, the date has been brought forward and it looks set to take place from October 19 rather than October 26.
“This is a strategy that is designed to get us to a COVID-normal Christmas,” Premier Andrews said.
“We are well on track. In fact, we are ahead of time when it comes to achieving that outcome. That is a credit to every single Victorian who is staying the course, working hard, making sacrifices. We have to get this done, we have to complete this task.”
But the Premier was quick to warn Victorians not to be careless and complacent.
“None of these changes though are a sign we can take our foot off the pedal. The fine for gatherings – having visitors over to your home, meeting outdoors in big groups – will be increased to the same penalty for travelling into regional Victoria without a valid reason. That is, almost $5000”, the Premier added.