Otago Daily Times
Victoria to ease virus restrictions
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