As Melbourne residents near the two-week mark for the city’s tough lockdown, many are nervously waiting for confirmation on whether restrictions will ease tomorrow night.
While the city looks to be on track for reopening, the final decision will likely depend on how many new Covid-19 cases emerged overnight and whether the state sees a rise in unlinked mystery infections.
The state recorded just two new infections on Tuesday, bringing the total number of locally acquired cases in the outbreak to 85.
The low number came as a relief to Victorians after recording an alarming surge of 11 new cases on Sunday.
All of Victoria was plunged into a seven day “circuit breaker” lockdown on May 27, with residents given just five reasons to leave their homes.
The rapid spread of the virus then led authorities to extend the lockdown for Melbourne, with restrictions finally set to ease at 11.59pm on Thursday.
Acting Premier James Merlino aimed to reassure Melbourne residents yesterday, saying the state was still on track to announce an easing of restrictions thanks to the “outstanding work” of contact tracers.
“We remain on track to later in this week announce, as we have said we have planned to do all along, further easings of restriction in regional Victoria and careful easing of restrictions in Melbourne,” he said.
“This cluster was discovered after the lockdown was in place and nothing about today changes our plan. So I just want to send that very reassuring message to all Victorians. Nothing about today changes our plans.”
What eased restrictions will look like
While the lockdown is likely to ease, some tough restrictions will still remain in place across the city.
According to the Herald Sun, the Victorian government was working out the details of the post-lockdown restrictions with public health officials on Tuesday night, and they are set to be finalised this morning.
“The settings are likely to be similar to what happened for regional Victoria last week,” a senior government source told the newspaper.
Melbourne residents are expected to be restricted from travelling more than 25 kilometres from their homes. In addition, visits to other people’s homes will remain banned.
Restaurants and cafes will have a 50-customer limit, and outdoor get-togethers will be capped at 10 people. Masks will still be required indoors.
- text by Ally Foster, news.com.au