Premier Daniel Andrews’ highly anticipated lockdown exit plan has prompted backlash from some businesses, with many pointing out a major omission.
Welcome to our coverage of Victoria’s Covid-19 situation.
Victoria confirmed a record number of infections on Wednesday, with 120 new locally acquired cases.
Premier Daniel Andrews revealed the state’s lockdown exit plan yesterday, with some restrictions to ease from tonight while the majority others will kick in towards the end of September when first dose vaccinations reach 70 per cent.
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Follow below for today’s top developments. Just hit refresh every now and then to make sure you’re up to date. For updates from NSW, head over to our other live blog.
‘Doom and gloom’: Businesses furious at Dan’s covid plan
Premier Daniel Andrews’ highly anticipated covid exit plan has left much to be desired for some Victorians, with many businesses furious at a major omission surrounding vaccinations.
While Mr Andrews promised an easing of restrictions for all Victorians when the state hits its 70 per cent first dose vaccine target, which is expected to be around September 23, many businesses are wondering why his plan didn’t include extra incentives for fully vaccinated residents like NSW has promised.
“We currently have a tale of two cities – Gladys Berejiklian said, ‘whether it is attending a public event or having a drink, if you are fully vaccinated and the state has hit its 70 per cent double dose target, please expect to do all of those things we have been missing for too long’,” said Chapel Street Precinct General Manager Chrissie Maus.
“Where’s our freedom carrot Dan? Even though NSW has the unenviable position of more case numbers, they seem to be in a better position to exit.
“The doom and gloom messaging of the daily press conferences offers nothing to inspire Victorians to get out there and get their jab and now we’re trailing behind other states.”
Ms Maus said small businesses were begging for some relief and needed the government’s support.
“Construction workers have returned with safety measures in place but there’s still no light for small businesses. Our Chapel Street business are ready to open with similar safety measures, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have the same opportunities right now,” she said.
“If their staff are double vaxxed and so too are their clients, let us know when we can open our doors so we can prepare.”
Chapel Street Precinct Chairperson Justin O’Donnell said Melbourne needed a lifeline like Premier Gladys Berejiklian has given NSW.
“Businesses here are still fighting for support, while in Sydney their tiered structure support scheme makes Melbourne look like the poor cousin surviving on food scraps,” he said.
Breakdown of Dan’s lockdown exit plan
Yesterday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced a raft of restrictions that will be able to ease this month after Victoria changed its covid zero goal in light of the state’s rising cases.
While the majority of changes won’t kick in until later in the month, there are a couple of rules that will ease from tonight.
From 11.59pm tonight, playgrounds will reopen for children under 12 with only one parent or carer. Adults will be required to keep their masks on at all time and check in using QR codes.
Also from tonight, in-home care, such a babysitter, will be expanded to school aged children if both their parents are authorised workers.
The following restrictions will be able to ease then the state reaches its 70 per cent first dose target, which is expected to be “on or about” September 23:
• The 5km travel limit for shopping and exercise will be expanded to 10km
• Daily exercise limits will increase from two to three hours
• Communal outdoor gym equipment and skate parks will reopen
• Outdoor personal training will be allowed with up to two people plus the trainer
• Private inspections of unoccupied premises for a new purchase or end of lease will be permitted. Only one household may attend at a time.
• Construction sites will be able to increase to 50 per cent capacity where 90 per cent of their workforce have received at least one vaccine dose
Vic health advice ‘fundamentally changed’ after record cases
Premier Daniel Andrews offered a grim outlook for Victoria yesterday, after the state confirmed a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, with 120 new infections.
“In just the last two days, the number of cases, the nature of those cases, the depth of the seeding of this outbreak has become clear and the chief health officer’s advice to me and the Government has changed, fundamentally changed,” he said.
“None of us have the luxury of ignoring that, none of us have the luxury of shopping for the advice that we want. When we get advice we follow it and the data and the evidence and the experts are very clear with us. We will not see these case numbers go down. They are going to go up.”
Mr Andrews said officials now have to try and suppress case numbers until vaccination rates increase, adding it isn’t possible to “ease restrictions in a profound way” until those rates rise.
This mean, that instead of announcing eased restrictions linked to case number thresholds, like he originally promised, Mr Andrews instead announced eased restrictions linked to vaccination rates.
“These numbers are considerably worse than they were yesterday. When you add the two of them together and indeed go back three days, this has deteriorated quite fast,” he said on Wednesday.
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