A draft of Premier Dan Andrews‘ proposed roadmap to see the state out of strict lockdown suggests restrictions could remain in place for weeks, according to The Australian.
A leaked draft of the document, seen by the publication, says initial changes will see exercise quotas lengthened, followed by a gradual increase in the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings.
These are said to start from September 14, and will allow two people or a household to gather outside in Melbourne, with exercise hours extended from one to two per day.
It also details the number of coronavirus cases needed for the lockdown currently imposed on regional Victoria to be eased from Stage 3 (Stay at Home) to Stage 2 (Go Outside).
But according to the report, the average daily increase over the past fortnight would need to be less than five – and that could take weeks to achieve.
Mr Andrews will announce the final schedule for easing restrictions in the state later today, after it has been under various levels of lockdown for the past two months.
The premier has been pretty tight-lipped about the details of the plan, saying it was crucial authorities had another week of data before finalising the road map.
However, he did reveal some of the “key principles” of the plan.
“Firstly, we have to ensure that physical distancing including following density requirements, making sure staff work from home wherever possible, eliminating the total number of staff and customers in any enclosed area, and stopping carpooling,” he said on Monday.
“It has to be a feature of opening up and getting people back to work. Wearing a face covering at all times in the workplace and ensuring that PPE is used, particularly in those higher risk industries.
“Requiring hygienic workplaces, so things like high touch points being regularly cleaned, staff regularly washing their hands, the availability and the use of hand sanitiser, so on and so forth.”
Mr Andrews said continuing to act quickly when a staff member becomes unwell is a crucial part of opening up the state safely.
“They are common sense principles, but they are very important and they will have to underpin each and every one of the decisions that we will announce, and the pathway that we will share with Victorians on Sunday,” he said.
Mr Andrews also hinted at how people could dine at cafes, bars and restaurants once restrictions were eased.
“When it comes to cafes, bars, restaurants and pubs, I think the improving weather and the part of the year we are moving into does give us some options that we simply didn’t have last time,” he said.
“More outdoor eating, more outdoor service … We’re looking at that very closely and we will be having very detailed discussions with that just as one example.”