Victoria records two new coronavirus cases and no deaths as Daniel Andrews prepares to FINALLY end Melbourne’s radical lockdown
- Victoria reported two new coronavirus cases and zero deaths overnight
- Premier Daniel Andrews expected to announce change to Melbourne lockdown
- Federal health minister Greg Hunt wished restrictions to be in line with NSW
- Mr Andrews said improvements will be in the social and not economic space
Another day of single-figure COVID-19 diagnoses, and no deaths, has Victorians keenly awaiting news of easing lifestyle restrictions.
The state reported two new cases on Sunday and a rolling daily case count of 7.5 in metropolitan Melbourne for the fortnight up to Saturday. Regional Victoria’s two-week average is 0.5.
The statistics mean Victoria’s coronavirus death count remains at 816 and the national toll is 904.
Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to reveal significant changes to Melbourne’s restrictions on movement and gatherings on Sunday.
The Herald Sun reported the 5 kilometre travel restriction will be extended to 20 kilometres.
Melburnians will also be able to exercise or leave their homes for longer than the current two-hour time limit while the cap on outdoor gatherings will be widened to as many as 10 people.
Another day of single-figure COVID-19 diagnoses, and no deaths, has Victorians keenly awaiting news of easing lifestyle restrictions (pictured, residents jogging in Melbourne)
The Herald Sun reported Melburnians will also be able to exercise or leave their homes for longer than the current two-hour time limit (pictured, Melbourne residents fishing)
Sports enthusiasts will also be allowed to play tennis or golf without having to go through a clubroom.
Skate parks and DIY car washes are also set to reopen.
Outdoor dining will also be allowed in some places over the next few days with one patron limited for every square metre.
Regional Victoria will also reportedly have caps increased in homes, restaurants, cafes and retail stores.
Victorians will still need to wear masks whenever they leave their homes.
Chin Chin restaurant’s Chris Lucas said he was hopeful indoor dining restrictions would also be eased over the coming days.
‘Premier Daniel Andrews is finding himself even further on the outer with the mood of Victorians,’ he said.
‘The longer he keeps us locked up the more damage, both economic and mental health related, and the longer the jobless queues,’ he said.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt has urged the Victorian government to ease restrictions in line with NSW.
‘The epidemiological conditions for a COVID-safe reopening of hospitality, movement (and) family reunions among others, have now been firmly met,’ Mr Hunt posted on Twitter on Saturday.
‘Victoria should now be able to move to the next step in line (with) NSW.’
However Mr Andrews said Mr Hunt was not an epidemiologist and accused him of ‘playing games’, before adding that he would not be rushed in reopening Victoria.
Mr Andrews said on Saturday he would not bend under pressure from some politicians who were calling for bigger rollbacks
Mr Andrews has confirmed Sunday’s announcements will be ‘much more in the social space than in the economic space’, dashing the hopes of those in retail and hospitality industries
‘We are not going to risk everything that Victorians have sacrificed. And that’s why this strategy is not about racing to open up (and) running to COVID-normal – it’s about safe and steady steps,’ the premier said.
‘We are right on the edge now of defeating this second wave. It’s not occurred in many countries, if any, across the world.’
Mr Andrews has confirmed Sunday’s announcements will be ‘much more in the social space than in the economic space’, dashing the hopes of those in retail and hospitality industries.
‘We have to be conservative and careful, we have to take safe and steady steps.’
Mr Andrews said on Saturday he would not bend under pressure from some politicians who were calling for bigger rollbacks.
Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria’s 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source (pictured, a COVID-19 pop-up clinic at Shepparton)
Melbourne residents enjoy a day out at the park ahead of announcements to ease restrictions in the city
‘Whatever I stand up here … and announce, there will be members of that federal government, some who are from Victoria but I don’t think they’re for Victoria, who will be out there saying ‘It is not enough, you should have done more’,’ he said.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he had only Victorians’ interests at heart.
‘I, like so many other Victorians — be they in the health, legal, business or broader community — will not be silenced nor stand by as our fellow Victorians lose their liberties and have their economic livelihoods damaged,’ he said.
‘We are from Victoria and we are for Victoria.’
Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria’s 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source.