Angry Melburnians have once again taken to the streets and clashed with police as they protest against the strict Stage Four restrictions for the fourth weekend in a row.
Victoria recorded just 12 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and one death as the city’s 14-day average continues to plummet.
But despite the positive steps, disgruntled anti-lockdown protesters have ignored the strict rules by ‘doing something different’ and organised 10 locations for protests across the city so people can remain with the 5km radius imposed on them.
The protests were organised via encrypted message groups in the hope that police would not find out about them.
Two men are detained by police protesting against the lockdown regulations in Melbourne at a Freedom Rally on September 26
There were 10 more locations where anti-lockdown protestors could attend in Melbourne (pictured: Two men detained at a Saturday protest)
Upon arrival, protestors were encouraged to sing John Farnham’s popular song, You’re the Voice.
‘Prisoners get more freedom than free Victorians do,’ a protester wrote in an encrypted message, Herald Sun reported.
‘Rallies will never be cancelled until all coronavirus restrictions end.
‘Don’t wait til JobKeeper ends to raise your voice. We need to speak out louder than ever before.’
Two men holding the Australia, American and the United Kingdom flag have already been detained by Victoria Police.
Victoria Police surround a man holding the American flag during an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne on Saturday
Pictured: Police scuffle with protesters during an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne on Sunday September 13
A trial has been set for Monday to challenge whether Melbourne’s 8pm-5am and now 9pm-5am curfew is legal.
Melburnians have been extremely restricted from leaving their homes since August 2 when Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a State of Disaster.
The case was launched by Mornington Peninsula cafe owner Michelle Loielo who claims she has had a massive drop in income due to the curfew.
Associate Professor Michelle Giles signed off on the curfew which was suggested by Chief Health officer Brett Sutton.
Melburnians can only leave home for one of four reasons: shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention all within 5km of their home.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) announced a State of Disaster on August 2 and imposed a curfew
View of near-empty streets during peak hour in Melbourne, Australia, 11 September 2020
Police move protesters on through the Queen Victoria Market during an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne, Sunday, September 13, 2020
Residents in regional Victoria are already enjoying eased coronavirus restrictions after they moved away from Stage Three lockdown at 11.59pm on September 16.
Pubs, cafes and restaurants are able to serve people outside with strict density quotas, while outdoor gathering limits will be upped to 10.
Regional Victorians are also able to leave their homes without restriction and all shops can reopen.
They will still be able to travel via Melbourne to reach other parts of the state, but can only stop for three reasons including food, care and permitted work and study.
Melbourne residents who leave the city without a lawful excuse will be fined $4,957.
Victoria’s state of emergency and disaster powers, extended until October 11, give police the power to detain someone ‘for the period reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce a serious risk to public health’.
Police officers can also search people’s homes without a warrant and restrict movement between locations such as between regional Victoria and Melbourne.
MELBOURNE’S ROADMAP OUT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:
Step one: The first step came into effect at 11.59pm on September 13.
Step two: The second step will be implemented when Melbourne has 30-50 COVID-19 cases a day on average over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on September 28.
Step three: The move to step three will occur when there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on October 26.
Step four: The move to step four will come when there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on November 23.
COVID Normal: After 28 days of no new COVID-19 cases, things will return to normal.
Step one – 11.59pm on September 13: now in effect
– Curfew has been eased to 9pm-5am
– People can still only leave home for the four reasons (shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention)
– Public gatherings increased to two people, or a household, for a maximum of two hours
– Singles can have one nominated person to their home as part of the ‘singles social bubble’
– Childcare and early educators to remain closed
– Schools will continue to learn remotely unless they have exemptions
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, unless they have exemption
– Only go to work if you are in a permitted industry
– Cafes and restaurants will continue with take away only
– Retail businesses will remain open for essential shopping, with others only operating with click and collect
– Only one person per household can do the essential shopping
Step two – September 28:
– Public gatherings increase again to five people from a maximum of two households
– Childcare and early educators can re-open
– Schools to continue with remote learning, but Prep to Grade Two and Year 11 and Year 12 students will gradually return to class in Term 4
– There will be an increase to permitted workplaces
Step three – October 26:
– Curfew is no longer in place
– There are no restrictions on leaving home
– Public gatherings increase to 10 people together outdoors
– A ‘household bubble’ will be introduced, so five people from one house can visit another
– Remote learning to continue, but Grades 3 to Year 11 can gradually return to class
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, but hands on classes will see a phased return to onsite
– Work from home is encouraged
– Up to 10 people can eat together at restaurants and cafes, with the majority of tables outdoor
– Retail shops to reopen, with hairdresses operating under safety measures but beauty stores to remain closed
– Real estate agents can conduct private inspections by appointment
– The one person per household limit on shopping is to be revoked
Step four – November 23:
– Public gatherings to increase to 50 people outdoors
– Up to 20 visitors can attend a home at any one time
– All adult education will return to onsite with safety measures in place
– Groups limited to 20 indoors and a maximum of 50 patrons per venue
– All retail stores to reopen, while real estate agents can operate with safety measures and by keeping a record of attendants
Step five – COVID normal:
– Public gatherings have no restriction
– There will also be no restriction on visitors to homes
– Phased return to onsite work for work from home workers
– Schools to reopen as normal
– Restrictions on hospitality removed, but venues to continue keeping records