The following announcements have just been made at a press conference:
Current VIC case data
19,538 confirmed aggregate total cases, 63 new cases overnight
666 deaths so far, increase of 5 since yesterday (2 of these occurred prior to yesterday)
283 in hospital, 19 in ICU, 16 on ventilators
2.9 million+ total tests in Victoria so far, 18,338 tests yesterday
Regional Victoria only has 98 active cases under Stage 3 restrictions
Victoria’s Road to Recovery
Difficult decisions to be made in the job of Premier. It is not a 50/50 choice, the modelling indicates if Victoria opens up too quickly, it will be in and out of lockdown many times before the end of the year.
We can’t run out of lockdown, we have to take steady and safe steps to find the COVID normal. Make sure in opening up that we can stay open.
There is no choice but to ease out of restrictions safely.
More than 1000 scenarios have been put into a super computer which has been very helpful and is a significant piece of work [modelling document is available below].
Health and scientific advice is what is being followed to guide any changes.
Metro Melbourne Roadmap (all easing of restrictions will be subject to health advice and numbers at each proposed date)
STEP ONE, FROM 11.59PM 13 SEPTEMBER:
The current Stage 4 restrictions will be extended for 2 more weeks.
Curfew will be eased by one hour to 9pm – 5am.
Exercise will be increased to two hours per day.
People who live alone will be able to partner up with someone else and visit each other. The five kilometre rule will not apply, but the curfew will. This will work similar to intimate partner arrangements now.
Playgrounds will reopen.
Public outdoor gatherings of two people will be allowed or a household for up to two hours, and/or for exercise.
STEP TWO, FROM 28 SEPTEMBER:
Average cases from the previous two weeks need to be between 30-50 cases.
Public gatherings will be increased to five people from two households.
Staged returns to school for Prep-Year 2. VCE and VCAL and specialist schools will be open for term four (Some Year 10 and Year 11 & 12)
Childcare will re-open.
Outdoor pools will open.
Outdoor training for two people with a personal trainer will be allowed.
Outdoor religious gatherings of 5 people plus one faith leader will be allowed.
Public gatherings increased to 5 people, from 2 households.
Some industries will reopen (some 101,000 workers will be able to return to work):
[A list was referred to by the Premier – link & publication below]
Construction – but will have some limits still
Warehousing and distribution, postal services
Outside garden maintenance, working alone outside, landscaping etc
STEP THREE, FROM 26 OCTOBER:
If the daily average of cases over the previous 14 days is less than five new daily cases at this time, then the curfew will no longer apply.
There will be changes to restrictions on leaving home reasons or distances travelled.
Public gatherings will increase to 10 people outdoors.
Five visitors at home in a household bubble (your home and another home).
More information will be shared on schools for those in Years 3 to 10.
Retail and hairdressing will reopen.
Hospitality will recommence, predominantly outdoor seated service.
There will be a staged return of outdoor noncontact adult sport
STEP FOUR, FROM 23 NOVEMBER:
Gatherings of 50 people outdoors.
Up to 20 people at home.
All retail will be open.
Real estate will open with safety measures.
In hospitality, indoor groups with a limit of 20 people with seated service, and a limit of 50 can be served more broadly per venue.
Weddings and funerals will be back to normal.
After that, a return to a COVID Normal will be the priority by Christmas. Most restrictions will drop, phased return for people working from home back to their workplaces.
An example of why it is important to do this in such a controlled, safe manner was given: 1 person in Colac (regional VIC town) infected 24 people in less than a week. It spreads like fire and until it is contained, Victoria can’t fully open.
Modelling shows we can’t open fully now otherwise all that will happen is a third wave with further restrictions.
[Modelling was shown and talked through by Dr Allen Cheng at this point. Modelling document is available below]
REGIONAL VICTORIA ROADMAP, FROM 11.59PM 13 SEPTEMBER:
Regional Victoria will essentially jump straight to metropolitan Melbourne’s step two.
This will be reassessed after 2 weeks, and then will likely be able to move faster to reopening and be living in relatively normal circumstances compared to Melbourne.
Geelong corridor is some concern and will be watched closely. If cases jump in Geelong corridor, they will join metropolitan Melbourne in terms of restrictions (rather than all of regional Victoria).