8 Virus Deaths, 28 New Cases in Victoria

By AAP
September 16, 2020 Updated: September 17, 2020

Victoria has had eight more coronavirus deaths as case numbers drop again.

The latest fatalities take the state toll to 745 and the national figure to 832.

But there were only 28 new cases, the lowest figure for Victoria since 20 on June 24.

The rolling 14-day new case averages have also fallen to 44.4 for Melbourne and 2.9 for regional Victoria.

There are 83 cases with an unknown source in Melbourne and one in regional areas.

Regional Victorians woke on Sept. 17 to eased COVID-19 rules as locked-down Melburnians have to cope with their so-called “ring of steel”.

Victoria Police has tightened traffic checkpoints on Melbourne’s outskirts to crack down on regional travel, with rules for outside the city wound back overnight.

Under the regional travel crackdown, Melbourne adults who leave the city without a lawful excuse will be handed a $4957 fine.

The new offence comes into effect from Thursday and is designed to deter Melburnians from entering regional Victoria.

It will be complemented by beefed-up roadblocks, creating lengthy traffic delays as vehicles pass through.

The next step for regional Victoria means pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to serve people outside with strict density quotas, while outdoor gathering limits will be upped to 10.

Regional Victorians will also be able to leave their homes without restriction and all shops can reopen.

They will still be able to travel via Melbourne to reach other parts of the state but can only stop for three reasons including food, care and permitted work and study.

Caravan parks and camping grounds in regional areas are also able to reopen from Thursday, but with group booking restrictions.

Melbourne’s new case average must stay between 30 to 50 for some of the city’s restrictions to be eased as planned on Sept. 28.

Andrews noted factors behind each case had to be considered when weighing up whether to ease restrictions.

Meanwhile, elective surgeries will ramp up to 75 percent capacity in regional Victoria from Sept. 16.

Melbourne-based elective surgeries are likely to increase to 75 per cent from Sept. 28.

Melbourne