Otago Daily Times

Vic­to­ria to ease virus re­stric­tions

- Melbourne · Daniel Andrews · United States Department of Health and Human Services

MELBOURNE: Vic­to­rian Premier Daniel An­drews has con­firmed a ma­jor eas­ing of Melbourne’s coro­n­avirus re­stric­tions as a north­ern sub­urbs out­break comes un­der con­trol.

Melbourne re­tail and hos­pi­tal­ity busi­nesses can fi­nally re­open af­ter An­drews an­nounced a raft of changes that will come into ef­fect from mid­night tonight.

There will be a max­i­mum of 20 peo­ple seated in­doors at hos­pi­tal­ity venues, with 10 per space, and 50 out­doors. Beauty, per­sonal ser­vices and tat­too par­lours will also re­open.

Peo­ple can also visit other houses with much more free­dom. De­tails will be re­vealed to­day.

An­drews also an­nounced the 25km travel limit and the ‘‘ring of steel’’ sep­a­rat­ing Melbourne from re­gional Vic­to­ria would go on Novem­ber 8.

The an­nounce­ment came af­ter Vic­to­ria had a clean daily coro­n­avirus sheet for the first time in more than four months, with no deaths or new cases.

Yes­ter­day’s Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices fig­ures showed av­er­age daily di­ag­noses over the past fort­night down to 3.6 for Melbourne and seven mys­tery cases from Oc­to­ber 10­23. The cor­re­spond­ing fig­ures for re­gional ar­eas are 0.2 and zero.

Equally im­por­tant, a test­ing blitz con­firmed that an out­break in the north­ern sub­urbs ap­peared to be un­der con­trol.

Yes­ter­day’s con­fer­ence was de­layed un­til mid­af­ter­noon as the gov­ern­ment awaited lat­est test re­sults from the out­break area. More than 5000 came back neg­a­tive, An­drews con­firmed.

Vic­to­ria had not re­ported zero Covid­19 deaths and cases since June 9. Its death toll stands at 817 and the na­tion’s at 905.

‘‘Fun­da­men­tally, this be­longs to every sin­gle Vic­to­rian, every sin­gle Vic­to­rian who has fol­lowed the rules, stayed the course, worked with me and my team, to bring this sec­ond wave to an end,’’ An­drews said.

‘‘But it is not over.’’ — AAP

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