Further freedoms for regional Victoria

Further freedoms: Premier Dan Andrews announced further openings at today's press conference. file photograph


FROM 11.59pm tomorrow night regional Victorians will have even greater freedoms, with the exception of Ballarat.

Indoor physical recreation facilities such as gyms will be permitted to open with 10 people indoors and 20 outdoor per venue.

Pools will also be able to open with up to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors.

Hydrotherapy and swimming lessons may occur, however spas, saunas and steam rooms will remain closed.

Tour transport will be permitted to open with up to 10 people per vehicle.

“They are small steps but they are safe steps,” Premier Dan Andrews said.

“Of course you would always like to do more … but we have more cases, we have to balance this out.”

As of 11.59pm on September 23, construction workers state-wide will need to show their employer proof of at least a first dose of any COVID-19 vaccination.

From 11.59 pm tomorrow night construction workers will no longer be able to cross over the metropolitan-regional boundary.

“That is a challenge, I know, but we are seeing too many events … if you are travelling back and forth from metro Melbourne into the region and back again the virus will hitch a ride,” he said.

“I don’t want to see another situation where there are more Sheppartons or more Ballarats.”

In the past 24 hours Victoria recorded 514 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, the highest daily increase since the peak of the second wave in August last year.

Contact tracers have linked just 148 of the new cases to known outbreaks.

There were 61,961 test results received on Wednesday, the highest since the pandemic began.

On Sunday, the state government will announce further clarity for how the rest of September, October and November will look for Victorians.

“On Sunday we will be able to look at what the rest of September, October and November will look like,” Mr Andrews said.

Mr Andrews also announced the state will hit the 70 per cent first dose vaccination target tomorrow, becoming the second state in Australia to reach the milestone.

“This is a good day, because what we have set out to do we have been able to,” he said.

“This is a credit to Victorians.”