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COVID-19 Community Update: further easing of restrictions, school's back and latest on case numbers

25 May 2020

Yesterday the Premier announced plans for further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria as part of step 2.
Two dates have been outlined in June, with phase one of Step 2 to be implemented from 1 June and phase two of Step 2 to be implemented from 22 June.
Separately, changes are occurring tomorrow with some students returning to school. From tomorrow, restrictions will also lift on the use of outdoor playgrounds, skate parks and communal gym equipment.
Here are the details on what has been announced:
From 1 June, we will start to see more significant changes to COVID-19 restrictions.
Groups of up to 20 people will be permitted in many circumstances, with people density and physical distancing measures still in place. We will also be allowed to stay overnight in both homes and tourist accommodation.
More businesses will be re-opening and businesses who have been limited to what they can do will be able to do more.

The snow season will also open on June 22.
Frustratingly, the legal directions which underpin these changes are yet to be released by the Victorian Government, which makes it difficult to answer detailed questions about their impact. I expect they will be posted here closer to June 1 when they take effect.
As you will have likely seen, there is now some certainty about the return of school.
Tomorrow Victorian Foundation, Grade 1 and 2, specialist school students and students completing VCE and VCAL will return to school. All other students, from Years 3 to 10, will return on June 9.
Schools will implement special measures to prevent adults congregating and physical distancing will be adhered to among staff. Schools will also undergo more frequent cleaning.
I understand this news came as a great relief to many of our students and their families. It’s been an unusual year and families and teachers have felt disrupted.
It’s important that we continue to support our students throughout this year. Getting children back into the classroom, in front of a dedicated teacher, is a great start.
Locally there have been few changes. The only active cases are in Campaspe and Greater Shepparton.

The total number of confirmed cases recorded across our region from the start of the year to today is as follows:

Across Victoria, as of 7:29am on 24 May, there have been 1,603 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 1,498 have recovered and 19 people have died. 84 cases remain active across the state. 
Last week I emailed community groups, sporting clubs and local organisations to seek their input on priority projects for our region.
The Andrews Government has borrowed an additional $24.5 billion in the wake of coronavirus. It’s an eyewatering amount of money that will take decades to repay. I believe we need to make sure it is spent wisely and that our region gets a fair share to assist local communities and businesses get back to work and back in business.
If you are a part of a local community group and you want to have input into this process, please fill out this form and send it back to me. It is my intention to collate this feedback and submit it to the government for their consideration.
As an Opposition, we have also put forward a plan to the government with positive and constructive suggestions on how they can reboot the Victorian economy. You can find more detail on that here.

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