Victoria’s ‘long winter’ over: PM

By | October 26, 2020

The Prime Minister has congratulated Victorians on the forthcoming easing of restrictions after the state recorded no new cases for the first time since June 9.

From 11.59pm on Tuesday, residents of the southern state will be able to leave their homes for any reason, at any time – ending Victoria’s lengthy lockdown.

Mr Morrison said on Monday afternoon the decision to start easing restrictions was “welcomed” by the Commonwealth Government, and thanked Victorians for their patience and perseverance.

“Today’s announcement is a reflection of the dedication and effort of Victorians – taking the next step to reopen Victorian society and the state’s economy,” he said.

“After a long winter, there is light at the end of the tunnel for Victorians.

“As we said yesterday – Victorians have made great progress in reducing the rate of COVID-19 infections from the second wave outbreak in Victoria.”

He called on Mr Andrews to move quickly in easing other restrictions, such as the 25km bubble rule, that prevents residents venturing too far out of their neighbourhoods.

“It will be important for the Victorian Government to provide even more clarity to Victorians in the coming days and where restrictions do not have a health basis that they are removed quickly.

“We congratulate Victorians – this was the announcement that they were expecting and one they have worked hard to achieve.

“It is important for Victoria to safely open and stay safely open.”

Mr Morrison said he would continue working with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, South Australia Premier Steven Marshall and Mr Andrews on lifting hard borders between Victoria and its neighbouring states when safe to do so.

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On Friday, the PM revealed all states except Western Australia had made an in-principle agreement to have reopened by Christmas, allowing Australians to see their loved ones over the holiday period.

He said this would be achieved via a three-step national plan to return to COVID-normal, and that Victoria had begun moving towards step one.

“Australia has been a world leader in fighting the virus to save lives and to save livelihoods and with today’s announcement, we look forward to Victoria continuing to make progress on the path to reopening and joining the rest of the country at steps two and three in the national plan,” he said.

Under Victoria’s new relaxed restrictions, retail and hospitality businesses will reopen, with maximum limits of 20 people inside and 50 people outside depending on space, as will beauticians and tattoo parlours.

Weddings in metropolitan Melbourne will be allowed 10 people, while funerals can now have 20 mourners.

The 25km bubble rule will remain in place until November 8 and any changes to a current ban on home visits will be announced on Tuesday.

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