Daniel Andrews is easing Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions on travel, outdoor gatherings,...

Daniel Andrews is easing Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions on travel, outdoor gatherings,...
Daniel Andrews is easing Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions on travel, outdoor gatherings,...

Melbourne’s 5-kilometer radius rule will be expanded to 25 kilometers from midnight to ease Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions.

The change is among several restrictions that are being eased in the city that has been on lockdown for more than 100 days.

The prime minister has also outlined other restrictions in Melbourne this will be relaxed from November 2nd.

As of this date, people in Melbourne are allowed to leave their homes for whatever reason.

Visiting people in their homes is also permitted, but limited to up to two people and dependents and only once a day.

Retail is allowed to reopen, and beauty and personal services can return.

For the first time in months, hospitality businesses are allowed to accommodate a maximum of 20 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

Much has been said about how challenging 2020 was.

And it’s true. This year has asked more of us – more of us taken – than ever before.

But 2020 has undoubtedly also demonstrated the incredible courage of the Victorians.

We found it in us to stay on course. And as a state – millions strong – we are defeating this virus.

Other places around the world have not been as successful.

As early as August and at our peak, we reported 725 daily cases. At the same time, the UK recorded 891.

Today, as Victoria records two new cases, the UK hit 16,171. And as we continue to relax our restrictions, they are forced to increase theirs.

We see states and cities that are not so different from ours and that are overwhelmed by their second wave.

Doctors and nurses are asked to decide which of their patients are most worthy of their care.

And communities – entire countries – are confronting the reality that this will be “normal” until there is a vaccine.

We escaped this terrible opportunity. With humble acts of greatness and kindness, we endured this together.

Because of this success, we were able to make a number of changes today.

I know these changes can’t be absolutely everything everyone wants. But they are the steps we can safely take to make life a little easier.

Starting this evening at 11:59 p.m., the five-kilometer limit for exercise and shopping will be extended to 25 kilometers. The two-hour time limit for exercise and socializing will also be removed.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks can be reopened.

All currently serving Allied health professionals may resume routine personal care.

Outdoor real estate auctions can be conducted with up to 10 people plus the necessary staff.

And good news for those of you sizing the scissors or thinking carefully about a buzzcut – barbers can open with strict security protocols.

Starting tonight, groups of up to ten people from two households can also gather in public places outdoors.

That could be for exercise – or a picnic in the park.

I know some people will reasonably ask why it’s limited to two households – rather than five or ten. However, by limiting the number of households we are limiting any possible spread of the virus.

We can get thousands more Victorians back to work too – especially those who work outside. This includes trades that carry out maintenance and repair work outdoors, mobile dog groomers and photographers.

These are the changes we can safely make starting tonight.

We’ll have to wait a little longer – by 11:59 p.m. on November 1st – to do the rest of the third step, which will reopen retail, hospitality, and personal care.

This is a timeline based on current recommendations from our public health team.

However, if we keep tracking key indicators well – case averages, puzzle cases, test numbers, and the number of days people wait before being tested – we may be able to act sooner.

These indicators help us tell the story behind a case – and understand how we can safely take our next steps.

My Commitment to Melburnians: We will be reviewing this data every day this week. If we can get there next weekend and move early and do it safely, we will.

When we reach the third step, it also means moving from “stay home” to “stay safe” – with no restrictions on the reasons to leave the house.

This step will open any remaining retail stores. Restaurants, cafes and pubs will open. Personal and beauty services can offer treatments to their clients – as long as a face mask can be worn.

These companies will be able to have employees on-site for a “dark opening” beginning October 28th so they have time to prepare to open their doors to the public.

We can also go a little further with house calls – households can visit two people and their relatives at home once a day.

The other aspects of our roadmap – from accommodation to outdoor sports – are also featured.

I know there will be a lot of people wanting to know when they can go to regional Victoria.

And unfortunately that’s not okay for the time being. As we saw this week, this virus is wildly contagious – and we all must do our part to protect the hard-won benefits of our regional communities.

Because we’re doing so well in regional Victoria, we can make some changes there too.

Starting tonight, regional libraries and toy libraries can open a maximum of 20 people indoors.

Starting November 1st, people can hold outdoor religious gatherings with up to 20 people – and 50 people.

And good news for our regional hotel companies is that they can accommodate up to 40 customers indoors and up to 70 outdoors from 11:59 p.m. tonight.

Security is more important than ever. So please keep wearing a mask, keep your distance – and if you feel sick, get tested and stay home.

I understand that for some, these changes won’t be enough. They’ll want more – and they’ll want it sooner.

However, along the way, we were guided by our public health experts and their advice.

None of us ever want to do that again.

We have come too far – too much sacrificed – to give up now. We are so close

These are the safe, steady steps that will lead us out of this situation – and lead us to the other side.

We can do this.

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