COVID-19 Community Update: Step 3 restrictions, elective surgery, sole traders and local cases (16 September)

16 September 2020


Tonight regional Victoria will move to step 3 of easing restrictions.

With only 37 active cases across all of regional Victoria, these changes can’t come soon enough.  

STEP 3 RESTRICTIONS

From 11.59pm tonight, Wednesday 16 September, regional Victoria will move from step 2 to step 3 of easing restrictions.

Some of the key changes include:

  • No restrictions on reasons to leave home, (note, the four reasons remain in place for people living in Melbourne);
  • The creation of a “household bubble” for social interaction at home. This means you can nominate one household and have up to five people from that household visit and vice versa;
  • Re-opening of beauty services as long as a face mask can be worn, skateparks, junior sport and non-contact adult sport and seated service for the hospitality industry.

Here’s my summary of all changes:

 

For those with family and friends in Melbourne, they remain in step 1, which you can read about here.

NSW-VIC BORDER

Today the NSW Premier announced an expansion of the communities included in the NSW-Victoria border bubble.

I have asked the NSW Government to include Benalla in this, given the current bubble takes in nearby communities including Winton, Moyhu, Goomalibee, Broken Creek and Dookie. 

The amended public health orders to make the changes are being signed by the NSW Health Minister today or tomorrow, with implementation to occur next week.

The details of the changes will be updated here.

ELECTIVE SURGERY

Elective surgery in regional Victoria will begin to ramp up again from tomorrow, Thursday 17 September. This will no doubt come as some good news for those who have had surgeries delayed due to the government’s restrictions.

Elective surgery in regional Victoria will increase to 75 per cent of usual activity from tomorrow and 85 per cent from 28 September.     

Hospitals in metropolitan Melbourne will begin to ramp up to 75 per cent of usual activity from the 28 September, when they enter the Second Step of the roadmap, and 85 per cent of usual activity when they move to the Third Step.

The government says all Victorian hospitals will move to 100 per cent of usual activity from 23 November.

SOLE TRADERS

This week, the Andrews Government finally announced they would provide some support to sole traders.

I have been agitating for this for months however I am disappointed that the government has again made the criteria for accessing this support very restrictive. 

Only sole traders who are working from a permanent commercial location and who are in an industry that is restricted or closed under the Second Step of the Roadmap can apply.

Frustratingly, those who run their business from home have again been overlooked for financial support, despite restrictions damaging their incomes just as much as other businesses.

Personal trainers, beauticians, and travel agents are just some of the people who have missed out.

The quantum of support on offer is also insufficient in my view. 

If you are eligible, information on how to apply for the assistance will be updated here.

LOCAL CASES

This morning Victoria recorded 42 new cases of coronavirus.

Current active cases have dropped below 1,000, to 991, with only 37 of these active cases in regional Victoria.

Locally, there are only two active cases in City of Greater Shepparton and one in Greater Bendigo.

The two active cases in Shepparton are located in postcode 3630 and the one active case in the Greater Bendigo area is in postcode 3551.

There are no active cases in any other postcodes across the Euroa electorate.

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS

I encourage you to support local businesses as much as you can.

Purchasing a cup of coffee, dining in for a meal, making an appointment with your local beautician and checking in on business owners are easy ways to show your support and to ensure local businesses can find their feet.

As always if there is anything I can do to assist you, please don’t hesitate to send me an email steph.ryan@parliament.vic.gov.au.

 

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