Melbourne‘s tough stage four restrictions have been extended by another two weeks, while the city’s lockdown won’t be fully lifted until November 23.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the tough restrictions will be extended from 11.59pm on September 13.
‘We cannot open up at this time. If we were then we would lose control very quickly,’ he told a press conference on Sunday.
From next Sunday, the curfew will be expanded to 9pm from 8pm, in recognition that the days are getting longer as the weather warms up.
Exercise will be increased to two hours per day up from the one hour per day.
Mr Andrews said social bubbles will be created to accommodate Melbournians who live by themselves.
‘So, much like the way intimate partner arrangements will work now, singles, those who live alone, will be able to partner up with somebody else and they will be able to visit each other,’ he said.
‘The five kilometre rule will not apply, but the curfew will. So it is essentially extending those arrangements for partners who don’t live in the same household to those who live on their own.’
Mr Andrews said the fourth and final step of his roadmap to recovery will come into effect on November 23, subject to public health advice.
‘Case thresholds that bread can speak to in a moment, public health gatherings of up to 50 people outdoors, public gatherings, should say, of up to 50 people outdoors,’ he said.
The announcement comes as a further 63 new infections and five more deaths are recorded in Victoria.
Mr Andrews stressed the importance of easing slowly into normal life to avoid a dreaded third wave.
‘If we open up too fast then we have a very high likelihood, a very high likelihood that we are not really opening up at all. We are just beginning a third wave,’ he said.
‘We can’t run out of lockdown. We have to take a steady and safe steps out of lockdown.’