COVID-19: Victoria lifts lockdown from midnight tonight
Daniel Andrews, Victorian Premier has just announced the lifting of the 5 day lockdown at the end of today, as originally foreshadowed.
Victorians have largely cooperated with the lockdown by conducting a record 39,000 COVID-19 tests yesterday,
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There are some provisions that will remain until Friday February 26, however:
- No more five-kilometre limit for leaving home
- No longer restricted to four reasons to leave home (shopping for things you need, care and care-giving, exercise and essential work)
- Faces masks required outdoors where you cannot physically distance
- Face masks will be required indoors except at home
- 5 visitors allowed in the home (was zero)
- 20 people allowed at public gatherings
- Return to work with up to 50% capacity moving to 75% after Friday 26 February
- Schools to reopen
- Visits to hospitals & care facilities limited to 1 household per day (some exceptions)
- Retail outlets and hospitality venues to reopen returning to last weeks density – 1 person per 2 square metres.
- Religious gatherings to resume with previous density limits
- Funerals and Weddings – no restrictions other than venue density limits
- Gyms and Pools – open
- Community & Entertainment venues, libraries – open
- Play centres, indoor skate parks, indoor trampolining centres – open
The stage 4 ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown was introduced on Saturday for five days, involving the shutting down of businesses and schools. Victorians have only been allowed to leave their houses for up to 2 hours exercise or for essential travel such as food shopping or going to the chemist. Workers, other than those classified as essential have been working from home if possible.
It looks like the ‘circuit-breaker’ has worked by limiting the outbreak while making sure that quarantine and contact tracers can do their jobs without the virus getting ahead of them.
All 19 cases (other than returning travellers) have been linked to the Holiday Inn cluster from the group of close contacts already in self isolation.
Daniel Andrews might be seen as a bit trigger happy as a result of that 100+ days lockdown of Victoria in 2020 to deal with the last hotel outbreak. Gladys-Beryl here in NSW, would probably not have gone that far, preferring to apply a ring-fencing strategy, as she did with the Northern Beaches outbreak around Christmas.
Without overnight acquisition of an emergency epidemiology post-graduate qualification, I have to trust in the judgement of these politicians and their medical advisors.