Regional Victoria moves to third step out of lockdown restrictions

Cheryl Sanders
September 16, 2020

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday morning the 14-day average of daily coronavirus cases in regional Victoria had dropped to 3.6 with only one mystery case and then confirmed regional Victoria had reached the necessary "trigger point" on the roadmap to have restrictions further eased to step three from 11.59pm Wednesday, September 16.

Premier Andrews has also flagged a tough crackdown to keep regional Victoria COVID-free with the further easing of restrictions.

Victoria has recorded its first day without a coronavirus death in more than two months, as regional areas prepare to move into the third stage of easing restrictions. "I am grateful to you".

In metropolitan Melbourne, the curfew has been extended to 9pm-5am and exercise or social gathering outside with one other person or members of your family is allowed for two hours. Businesses will also be allowed to reopen, he added, according to The Associated Press.

Schools will open up for Term 4 through a staggered start.

Under step three, outdoor contact and non-contact sport for people under 18 and non-contact sport for adults, within gathering and density limits, can resume, while outdoor skate parks and outdoor fitness for 10 people will reopen.

"We need that time for the [policy] settings that we have, but I am very confident we will be in the 30-to-50 range for average daily cases", he said yesterday.

And to further help the hospitality industry the Victorian Government have announced a $87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package which will provide to councils and businesses outside of Melbourne's CBD to make widespread outdoor dining safe, practical and a reality this summer.

"Regional Victoria should not be treated as a single entity", she said.

The grants will be relief for around 33,000 eligible sole traders who have missed out on previous financial support and continue to be most affected by severe restrictions, however there will still be a large number of sole traders who do not meet the sector or commercial lease criteria who will be ineligible for the financial grants.

"What we've seen in regional Victoria should give hope to all Victorians".

Hospitality businesses will also receive support with a dedicated $251 million Licenced Venue Fund and the waiver of liquor licence fees in 2021.

"The Premier's plan does not take into account the vast distances between communities, or the difference between metropolitan Melbourne and regional communities".

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