Covid-19 restrictions ease in Melbourne after months-long lockdown

Elias Hubbard
October 18, 2020

Mr Andrews said the New Zealanders would not be kicked out of Victoria or sent home, as the state had "no power" to be able to initiate deportation.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the relaxation of restrictions for residents in Melbourne.

It'll still be a while before you can return to the shops, with retail not being allowed to open until November 1, as apart of the third step in easing restrictions completely.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews maintains there is "significant harm" in allowing worldwide arrivals into Melbourne, as he revealed 55 New Zealanders had arrived and not 17 as was initially reported.

"As other parts of the world are going into a deadly winter, with lockdowns and restrictions that are heartbreaking", Victoria can now "build a Covid-normal 2021", he said.

Andrews said it was "not fair" when Victorians can't freely move around their own state to have people arriving from another country, "without us knowing". New cases have plunged from a daily peak of 687 on Aug 4, with infections slowing to a trickle.

In regional Victoria, hospitality venues will increase the capacity to 70 people outside and 40 people inside from 11.59pm on Sunday.

Victoria is responsible for about a quarter of gross domestic product and the restrictions have deepened Australia's first recession in nearly 30 years.

Conservative politicians in other states, and the federal government, have been increasingly critical of Andrews' centre-left government for maintaining the strict lockdown in Victoria, saying it was undermining national recovery efforts.

"It is not surprising that they would give such authorisation because the risks are so low, given that the 14-day rolling average of coronavirus cases in New Zealand is precisely zero". Will I be allowed to drive my auto through the regional Victorian "ring of steel" to holiday in NSW?

"Today, as Victoria records two new cases, the United Kingdom hit 16,171", he said.

As part of this process, he said one of the people believed to have entered Victoria was actually in Byron Bay in northern NSW. You'll also have the opportunity to play certain sports, with tennis courts, skate parks and golf courses reopening.

"A maximum of 20 people will be allowed for outdoor religious gatherings".

Unfortunately, it's not all good news right now - Melbourne will still have to wait two more weeks for retail and hospitality to reopen.

In regional Victoria, where numbers are considerably lower, numerous controls have already been eased and pubs and restaurants will be allowed to have more customers from midnight. But security failures at quarantine hotels for returning travellers and poor communication of critical information to migrant communities allowed the virus to roar back in Victoria.

Air New Zealand flight NZ103 takes off from Auckland bound for Sydney for the first quarantine-free flight between New Zealand and Australia at 10.40am on October 16.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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