Victoria’s lockdown will be eased and Melbourne’s curfew scrapped – while NSW has recorded no new cases overnight in welcome news in Australia’s fight against COVID-19.
Melbourne’s all-important rolling 14-day case average dropped to 22.1 cases on Sunday while Victoria’s is at 0.6.
That means the step two easing of Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions can be applied tomorrow, in a welcome relief for Melbourne residents suffering tight Stage Four lockdown conditions and a curfew since August 2.
In more good news, New South Wales reported no new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
Interstate borders are opening up, meaning a travel bubble is ahead. People may not be able to travel overseas but they will be able to holiday interstate, bringing much-needed business to tourism operators hit hard by the virus.
* Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced Melbourne’s 9pm to 5am curfew will be lifted on Monday and thousands of people will return to work as the state rolls back COVID-19 restrictions.
* Under the rule changes from 11.59pm on Sunday, 127,000 people can return to work, childcare reopens and outdoor gatherings of up to five from two households are permitted.
* Victoria’s Year 12 students will also return to school for assessments from October 4, with primary school students back on-site on October 12.
* Melbourne’s two-hour exercise limit and 5km travel restriction remain but Mr Andrews foreshadowed full freedom of movement could come on October 19 ahead of AFL grand final weekend.
* Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Health Minister Greg Hunt welcomed the changes while heaping fresh pressure on Victoria to safely ease more restrictions quicker.
* It came as Victoria reported 16 new cases and two deaths on Sunday, taking the state’s death toll to 784 and the national figure to 872.
* Melbourne’s rolling 14-day case average dropped to 22.1 cases, while re Victoria’s sits at 0.6.
* Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham is hopeful a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand can be put in place by the end of the year.
* The Australian government also announced $250 million to boost tourism and infrastructure in Australia’s regions which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
* NSW recorded no new infections for the first time since June 10, but health officials urged people to remain vigilant as the school holidays start.
* Western Australia reported seven new cases linked to a ship anchored off the coast near Port Hedland. The infections were publicly disclosed on Saturday. There are now nine confirmed cases on board.
* Queensland announced one new case on Sunday, a returned overseas traveller in hotel quarantine.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* There were 24 new cases in Australia – 16 in Victoria, seven in WA and one in Queensland.
* The national death toll increased by two to 872:
New South Wales 55
Western Australia 9
South Australia 4
Australian Capital Territory 3
Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states.
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* Cases: at least 32,844,000
* Deaths: at least 994,000
* Recovered: at least 22,717,000
Data current as of 1800 AEST September 27, taking in federal government and state/territory government updates, Worldometer and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.
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