Roadmap out of COVID stalls


Ewen McRae

By Ewen McRae

Melton residents are still waiting for announcements on COVID-19 restrictions easing, after Premier Daniel Andrews delayed his decision at the weekend.

Residents had been expecting more restrictions on households and business to be lessened on Sunday, but a cluster of cases in Melbourne’s north late last week resulted in any announcements pushed until October 27 at the earliest.

Mr Andrews said the cluster was not a setback, and the short delay was simply the government being cautious and following advice of its health experts.

“This is not anything other than a cautious pause,” Mr Andrews said on Sunday.

“This is not a setback. It is simply waiting and being led by the data, being led by the science.

“I know it is frustrating. I know people are keen to have a long and detailed list of changes to the rules. It is not appropriate for us to do that now. It will be in the next couple of days, and we will not be, I don’t think, really in any meaningful way behind schedule but we had already set.”

Melton had just seven active cases on Sunday, while Moorabool remained on zero cases.

The good performance of Moorabool and the rest of regional Victoria allowed a further easing of restrictions from Wednesday.

From 11.59pm on Tuesday, indoor gyms and fitness spaces in Moorabool will be open for up to 20 people with a maximum of 10 people per space.

Indoor pools will also open for up to 20 people and indoor sport will begin for those aged under 18.

Food courts will open and live music will begin for outdoor hospitality, while school graduations will be permitted.

“Regional Victorians should be proud of this success,” Mr Andrews said.

“Everyone should be proud of this success. Because soon, it will belong to our whole state.”