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Lockdown hope

Lockdown hope

Regional restriction lifting mooted

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has flagged a potential easing of severe lockdown restrictions in regional Victoria next week.

But Mr Andrews said expectations were that while people might have some greater freedoms, significant restrictions would remain.

He added that circumstances at Shepparton might be different based on specific virus management of the area.

Overall, Victoria’s lockdown remains in place with September 23 earmarked as a target date for major reassessment.

Mr Andrews announced some minor restriction changes.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that most current lockdown restrictions would remain in place until 70 percent of Victorians had at least one dose of vaccine. This is estimated to occur around the September 23 date.

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Until then there will still be only five reasons to leave home: shopping for food and supplies, authorised work and study, care and caregiving, exercise, and getting vaccinated. Other restrictions – including mask wearing – will stay the same.

However, from 11.59pm on Thursday, September 2, playgrounds will re-open – with strict rules to keep everyone safe. Playgrounds will be for children under 12 with only one parent or carer, and adults should not remove their masks to eat or drink. Playgrounds will also have QR codes for checking in.

In-home care – such as babysitters – will also expand to school-aged children but only if both parents are authorised workers.

When 70 per cent of Victorians have had at least one vaccine dose the government will look to ease restrictions ‘a little ‘further.

At that point, a five-kilometre radius will expand to 10km – so people can exercise and shopping up to 10km from their homes. If there’s no shops in a person’s 10km radius, they will be able to travel to the closest available.

Victorians will be able to exercise for an extra hour, for up to three hours per day. Outdoor personal training will be allowed with up to two people plus the trainer. Outdoor communal gym equipment and skateparks will reopen.

Private inspections of unoccupied premises for a new purchase or end of lease will be permitted but only one household may attend at a time, with the agent staying outdoors during the inspection.

Mr Andrews said schools would not return to onsite lessons for teh ret of Term 3. The school holidays start on September 17.

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