COVID-19 Community Update: Victoria's new restrictions and how they apply to us (7 September)
07 September 2020
Yesterday Daniel Andrews announced his plan for the next stage of COVID restrictions in Victoria.
I have been arguing for an easing of restrictions in regional areas where there are no COVID cases, however the government has decided to make very few changes to current restriction levels.
Communities across regional Victoria remain under Stage 3 Stay At Home rules. The “roadmap” sets out two different plans, one for Melbourne and one for regional Victoria. Each plan involves the same four steps to reach a COVID normal, with the first step applying only to Melbourne.
Possible dates for the implementation of each step have been announced, but again are subject to average daily case numbers over 14 days and the number unknown sources of cases in each community.
SUMMARY OF STEPS TOWARDS COVID NORMAL
The key changes to come into force on Sunday night are as follows:
- an increase of public, outdoor gatherings to a maximum of five people from two households;
- the introduction of a “singles bubble” for those living alone to be able to nominate one visitor;
- schools to return to onsite learning in term 4; and
- the opening of outdoor pools and playgrounds.
Other than the above, there isn’t much change until the “third step” is triggered, for which we do not have a date.
Here’s the summary of the plan Daniel Andrews outlined yesterday:
SO HOW DO WE GET TO THE LAST STEP?
In order for restrictions to ease in country Victoria, the government wants to see a reduction in active case numbers across all of regional Victoria. To move to the “Last Step”, the government requires no new cases for 14 days across the entire state.
My concern is that the government is treating regional Victoria as a single entity. The Premier’s plan does not take into account the vast distances between communities, or the difference between metropolitan Melbourne and regional communities.
There are 34 local government areas in regional Victoria which already meet the government’s measure of not recording any new COVID case in the past 14 days. This includes Benalla, Strathbogie and Mitchell shires.
I would prefer to see an approach that enables COVID-free country areas to move to the “Last Step” by region.
Across the Euroa electorate we now have only five active cases.
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK…
Thank you to those of you who have been in touch to share your thoughts with me. I welcome all feedback as it helps me accurately representing the views of businesses and individuals across our region.
I would be grateful if you would take two minutes to tell me what you think about the government’s decision to keep hard restrictions in place. I’ve put together a quick survey here.