End of regional lockdown on the cards

Good news: Premier Dan Andrews announced a lifting of lockdown for all of Regional Victoria except Shepparton

By TOM GANNON

Premier Daniel Andrews says regional Victoria apart from the COVID-stricken city of Shepparton, is likely to come out of lockdown next week.

“We believe we will be able to end the lockdown in the rest of Regional Victoria next week, exactly when we will confirm as soon as we can,” he said.

Despite the easing of restrictions, the Premier said “significant” restrictions would still apply and no one from metropolitan Melbourne without authorisation would be allowed to enter regional Victoria.

“It will not be a full opening up, there will not be hundreds of people at the pub or the restaurant or the café but there will be activity that is possible and safe,” he said.

Mr Andrews announced that students will not return to face-to-face learning for the remainder of term three with a plan for term four to be announced next week.

It was also confirmed the GAT will be held on October 5.

Mr Andrews said the state government is aiming to have all Year 12 students and those Year 11 students studying a Year 12 subject vaccinated by October 5.

“We are very confident that we will be able to get all of our Year 12 students vaccinated at least one dose by October 5,” he said.

“From September 7 to September 17, schools will reach out to families and inform them of the detailed plan to have them vaccinated in state hubs.”

Mr Andrews announced playgrounds would reopen from 11.59pm tomorrow night.

He also announced a possible state-wide easing of restrictions which will come into effect from September 23 if up to 70 percent of the state have received their first vaccination dose.

Outdoor communal gym equipment, skate parks and things of that nature will reopen.

The current 5km travel distance restriction will be expanded to 10km and exercise time will be increased from two to three hours per day.

Outdoor personal training will be allowed with up to two people plus the trainer.

Private inspections for unoccupied premises for a new purchase or an end of a lease will be permitted with any limitations to be announced.

Construction sites can increase to 50 percent capacity when 90 percent of their work force has received at least one vaccination dose.

The state recorded 120 cases yesterday, all of which were locally acquired.

There was two deaths recorded overnight, one woman in her 40s and one woman in her 60s.

Out of the 58 people currently in hospital, 21 are in ICU with 14 of these people on a ventilator.

64 of the day’s cases were linked to known outbreaks, however 56 of these cases were still under investigation.

In total there are now 900 cases with only five acquired overseas, 122 of these cases remain under investigation.

“Of those that have been fully interviewed only 20 were in isolation during their infectious period, these last few days have seen a dramatic shift in the nature and the number of cases coming forward,” The Premier told media today.