Melbourne will remain under COVID-19 lockdown until at least Oct. 26 but some restrictions will be eased from Sept. 13.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews says stage four restrictions will remain in place but from Sept. 14, the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9 p.m., instead of 8 p.m., and run until 5 a.m.
People living alone can nominate a friend or family member who can visit them and two hours of daily exercise will be allowed, including “social interactions” such as having a picnic at a local park or reading a book at the beach.
Further restrictions could be eased from Sept. 28 and the government will consider lifting the curfew entirely from Oct. 26.
“We can’t run out of lockdown. We have to take steady and safe steps out of lockdown to find that COVID normal,” Andrew said at a press conference on Sept. 6.
Victorians were warned earlier on Sept. 6 that daily COVID-19 cases might not be low enough by mid-September, raising the prospect of more months under lockdown.
University of Melbourne modelling says based on current levels of social distancing, the 14-day case average was likely to be around 63 cases by Sept. 17.
“With so many cases in the community, re-opening at this point will risk a resurgence, undoing all of the gains achieved from lockdown,” the modelling released by the state government overnight on Sept. 5 concluded.
If that happened, restrictions could be “reimposed and last much longer.”
“Keeping Stage four restrictions until case numbers are low enough to safely reopen will enable all Victorians to get back to COVID-normal, faster,” Andrews said.