Lockdown easing

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AFTER an arduous four months, Victoria is moving back out of lockdown.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the easing of further restrictions on Monday. The same day, Victoria recorded no new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since 9 June.

From Wednesday, 28 October, the hospitality and retail sectors will start to reopen. Restaurants and cafes will be able to serve up to 20 people indoors and 50 outdoors, with social distancing guidelines in place too.

The permitted reasons to leave home have been removed, although the 25km radius will remain for the time being.

Indoor religious gatherings of up to 10 will now be permitted. 10 people can now attend weddings, and 20 can attend funerals.

Outdoor contact sport for kids will kick off once again. Up to 10 people from any number of homes can also now meet outdoors to socialise.

Home visits are also allowed from now on. Two people and dependents can visit another home within their 25km radius, but this can only happen once per day.

Further restriction changes are expected from 8 November, including the removal of the 25 kilometer travel limit. The regional border is also expected to be scrapped.

Capacity for hospitality is expected to increase, and gyms are also expected to reopen next month with strict guidelines.

“I know personally just how much this will mean for thousands of Victorians who haven’t been able to see loved ones for far too long. It will mean families are whole again. Our state is whole again,” Mr Andrews said.

“We want to reach COVID normal by Christmas and right now, we’re on track to do that. It’s why we’ve got to keep going, all of us. Understanding that even though restrictions may ease, our personal responsibility in all this doesn’t.

“As we take these steady steps towards reopening, the message remains the same. Please, stay safe. And if you have symptoms, you must get tested.”

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 28 October 2020

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