Dan Andrews announces “cautious next steps” for easing Victoria’s restrictions

Dan Andrews announces “cautious next steps” for easing Victoria’s restrictions

Words by Kate Streader

Victoria will not follow Scott Morrison’s three-step plan.

Following Scott Morrison’s announcement on Friday detailing the federal government’s plans for easing COVID-19 restrictions, Premier Dan Andrews has revealed the next steps for Victoria. In a press conference this morning, Andrews made it clear that he would be taking a much more cautious approach than Morrison’s three-step plan.

From midnight on Tuesday May 12 until the end of May, Victorians can have five visitors in their homes. As for outdoor gatherings, groups of ten will be allowed to hike, jog and play sport together.

Other services such as Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and group counselling sessions will be permitted, given that groups are capped at ten people and physical distancing is maintained.

Restrictions on funerals will be eased to 20 guests for indoor services and 30 guests for outdoor services, while weddings will be limited to ten guests. Professional sports will also be able to restart training sessions and schools will slowly reintroduce on-site learning.

There will be no distance limits for statewide travel, so Victorians will be able to jump in the car to visit family or their favourite hiking spot. However, Andrews has enforced a strict “no overnight rule” and says that camping is off the cards for at least the next three weeks.

The restrictions will be revisited in June, at which time Andrews will consider allowing cafes and restaurants to open beyond a takeaway-only model.

“I know this will come as a welcome relief, but I need to be clear. Although these are our first steps back towards normalcy – they are not an invitation to host a dinner party every night of the week,” said Andrews.

“We’re asking Victorians to limit their circle to just family and friends. That means that when we do have outbreaks and positive cases – and we will – we can test and trace and effectively contain the spread.

“I want to be clear: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Never miss a story. Sign up to Beat’s newsletter and you’ll be served fresh music, arts, food and culture stories three times a week.