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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Metropolitan Melbourne's Next Step of Eased Restrictions Has Been Delayed Because of an Outbreak

Premier Daniel Andrews said metropolitan Melbourne was set to take "significant steps" from midweek, but this has been put on hold.
By Samantha Teague
October 25, 2020
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Metropolitan Melbourne's Next Step of Eased Restrictions Has Been Delayed Because of an Outbreak

Premier Daniel Andrews said metropolitan Melbourne was set to take "significant steps" from midweek, but this has been put on hold.
By Samantha Teague
October 25, 2020
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Earlier this week, Premier Daniel Andrews raised the possibility of bringing forward November 1's expected restriction changes, as Victoria's daily new COVID-19 cases plummeted to as low as one. But this plan has been put on hold due to an outbreak in Melbourne's north.

In a press conference today, Sunday, October 25, the Premier said: "We had hoped today to be able to announce that metropolitan Melbourne would take significant steps, not from today, but from midweek, around retail, hospitality and a whole range of other important next steps. We are not in a position to do that today because we have at least 1000 test results from that northern metropolitan outbreak that are in the labs."

The Premier said that this decision was not a setback, but a "cautious pause" and is hopeful the next step of restrictions will still go ahead next week, saying a definitive announcement will be made on Tuesday when the test results come back.

The November 1 restriction changes are set to include the scrapping of the 25-kilometre rule and the four reasons for leaving home, as well as allowing hospitality venues and drive-ins to reopen and two people to visit another household.

The next step of eased restrictions is part of a five-step plan to bring Victoria to 'COVID normal' announced by the Premier back in early September.

The possibility of early eased restrictions meant that some hospitality venues had confidently planned to reopen midweek, with establishments, such as Welcome to Thornbury, already starting to accept bookings from Wednesday.

 

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Seven new cases of COVID-19 were detected in Victoria yesterday — with six linked to cases associated with the northern metropolitan outbreak — following another seven the day before that.

In a bid to contain the outbreak, the government is calling on anyone in Melbourne's north with even the mild symptoms to go and get tested today.

"This is a northern Metro suburbs outbreak. This affects everybody who lives in the northern Metro area. So, if you have the slightest of symptoms, particularly in those northern metro areas, you must come forward and get tested today," Jeroen Weimar, Victoria Government's commander of testing and community engagement, said today.

While metropolitan Melbourne will not be enjoying any eased restrictions this week, regional Victoria — which is a couple of steps ahead of Melbourne — will have some changes from 11.59pm on Tuesday, including the reopening of gyms and indoor pools and allowing religious gatherings of up to 20 indoors and 50 people outdoors.

For more information about the status of COVID-19 and the current restrictions, head over to the Department of Health and Human Services website — and for further details about Victoria's steps for reopening, head to the roadmap itself.

Top image: Julia Sansone

Published on October 25, 2020 by Samantha Teague

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