Restrictions to slowly ease


Ewen McRae

Restrictions are set to ease this weekend as case numbers continue to fall locally.

However, Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday would not confirm exactly which restrictions would be lightened but insisted they would be “significant”.

“The exact nature of those we’ll determine throughout the week and right up until Saturday night,” he said.

“A whole lot of outdoor activities is on the table. And we’ll also spend quite a bit of time thinking about what’s a safe group size for people outside to be able to join each other and to be part of the thing that we crave the most, and that’s some of the connections that we have had to go without for such a long period of time.

“That’s where we’re headed and they’re the things we’ll look at carefully.”

Retail, hairdressers and outdoor dining were among the businesses planned to re-open if metropolitan Melbourne reached a rolling 14 day average of five cases.

The 14-day average was 9.9 as of Monday.

Melton had just 12 active cases as of Sunday, while Moorabool still had no cases.

Victoria’s chief health officer, professor Brett Sutton, said even if the city did not reach the five case target, the current measures were working and people needed to continue following the rules.

“No-one’s been to this point with a second wave anywhere in the world,” Professor Sutton said.

“We are treading new ground. We can’t discount that it might be extraordinarily difficult to drive down to zero, but I think it’s possible.

“If all those things work, we’ll get there, but who knows in absolute terms if all of those things can fall into place.

“We’re unequivocally focused on that, we’re putting every ounce of our energy into it, but as we have always said – this is a collective effort.”