Roadmap for easing of Victorian’s Stage 4 restrictions to be announced Sunday

Premier Daniel Andrews will announce the latest coronavirus management plan on Sunday.
Premier Daniel Andrews will announce the latest coronavirus management plan on Sunday.

Victorian residents and workers will soon have a clearer picture of when Melbourne’s stage four lockdown may end, when the State Government on Sunday announces its plan for the easing of restrictions.

Premier Daniel Andrews refused to be drawn on the contents of the State Government’s plan on Thursday, as Victorians wait for answers after enduring almost five weeks of stage four conditions.

But it was the leaking of a reported draft plan for the new set of rules from September 14 that has most Melburnians talking, despite the government insisting it has not seen the draft, and that its contents were out of date.

Under the draft plan, revealed by the Herald Sun, the city’s 8pm curfew will continue for a further two weeks, while residents will still only be permitted to leave home for one of the four permitted reasons, and must stay in their local area.

Critically for Victoria’s businesses, commercial properties and landlords, heavy restrictions on business would remain.

According to the Herald Sun, most workers would only return to offices once restrictions reach stage one, which could be months away as it would only come into effect once Victoria has recorded no new COVID-19 cases for 14 consecutive days

But in positive news for people who are living and working alone during lockdown, single-person or single-parent households may be allowed to have a nominated person visit their home, while up to two hours of exercise a day would be permitted.

Sport and recreation facilities and entertainment venues are expected to remain closed.

The mooted plan includes the continuation of a number of key rules governing some industries, with only permitted industries allowed to work on-site, hospitality businesses only allowed to offer takeaway and home delivery, while ‘essential’ retail would remain the sole of retail allowed to open, with others permitted to provide ‘click and collect’ services.

After the additional two weeks, the next stage of the rolling back of restrictions would see the curfew lifted, some students would start returning to school and groups of five people from two households would be able to gather outdoors.

Andrews would not confirm the accuracy of the draft plan, but did not rule out some stage four rules remaining in place beyond the original September 13 end date.

“Sunday is the day the government will announce our roadmap, both for metropolitan Melbourne and different settings for regional Victoria,” he said.

“There is an enormous amount of modelling going on at the moment.”

“That does take quite some time – literally thousands of scenarios are run through various computers and processes.”

The latest news comes as Victoria again recorded more than 100 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, with another 113 added to the state’s tally