Victoria will extend its current lockdown for two weeks, but some restrictions will be eased for metropolitan Melbourne in a week’s time.
“We have to take steady and safe steps out of lockdown to find that COVID normal and make sure that in opening up we can stay open,” premier Daniel Andrews said on Sunday as he unveiled the state’s path forward.
The current Stage 4 lockdown will be extended until September 28, the Premier announced.
Some conditions will be eased from 11.59pm on September 13, including the 8pm curfew which will move to 9pm to account for the longer days, and public outdoor gatherings of up to two people will be allowed.
Exercise will be increased to two hours per day, up from the current one hour per day.
“You can’t run out of a lockdown because all you’re doing is running into a third wave,” Mr Andrews said.
“I want a Christmas that is as close to normal as possible.”
From September 28 there will be another easing of restrictions if case numbers continue to improve.
The changes could start earlier if metropolitan Melbourne reaches an average daily case rate of 30-50 cases over the previous 14 days.
Schools and childcare centres will reopen for preps, grade twos, VCE and VCAL students and specialist schools.
Regional Victoria, excluding the Geelong corridor, will be subject to a different timeline.
The roadmap comes as the state recorded 63 new COVID-19 cases and another five deaths in the past 24 hours.
All of the deaths are related to aged care home outbreaks.
The latest deaths bring the state’s toll as a result of the virus to 666, and there are 1872 active cases in the state now.
More to come.