Australian Premier Eases Some COVID-19 Limits for Melbourne

By AAP
October 17, 2020 Updated: October 18, 2020

Melburnians will be allowed to travel 25 kilometers from home and there will be no limits on time spent away from their residence as a part of eased COVID-19 restrictions due to start Monday.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the lifting of some restrictions on Sunday, after authorities confirmed the Australian state had two new cases of coronavirus and no further deaths.

But Melbourne businesses must wait longer for eased restrictions, with Andrews confirming that changes to retail, hospitality and “personal care” services won’t change until November.

“There is some optimism, confidence even, but if things continue this week as they have the last five days, we may be able to bring that forward,” he said of the wait for business operators.

Groups of up to 10 people from two households can gather outdoors and two adults and their dependents will be allowed to visit another property each day.

For months, Melburnians have only been permitted to travel within a five kilometer radius of their home and only for a maximum period of one or two hours.

“I’ve announced today what is safe but what will not undermine the efforts that Victorians have put in,” Andrews said.

In August, Victoria was reporting more than 600 COVID-19 cases each day, and double figure deaths, peaking at 59 on Spet. 4. For the past five days, the state has had single-digit new diagnoses each day, and there have been four deaths in that period, with none in the last four days.

The latest rolling daily case count is 7.5 in metropolitan Melbourne for the fortnight up to Saturday. Regional Victoria’s two-week average is 0.5.

The statistics mean Victoria’s coronavirus death count remains at 816 and the national toll is 904.

Sunday’s eased restrictions do not change mandatory mask wearing whenever Victorians leave home.

Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria’s 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday, which have no known source.