Melbourne’s lockdown has been extended for another two weeks with officials conceding there is still too much of a risk in the city.
But some restrictions will be gradually eased.
The Stage 4 lockdown in Melbourne will continue until September 28, however the curfew will be pushed back to 9pm from September 13.
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The curfew is likely to remain in place until the end of October.
From next weekend, residents will now be given two hours to exercise each day, while people living alone will be allowed to form ‘social bubbles’ with other singles.
Public gatherings will be increased to two people for up to two hours.
From September 28, public gatherings will be increased to five people, while there will also be a staged return to school.
But industries including hospitality and industry won’t start seeing a return until October 26, and only if there has been an average of five new cases or less in the week leading up to then.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews admits difficult decisions have had to be made.
“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 and we will be back in and out of restrictions come in and out of lockdown, before the end of the year.
“We can’t run out of lockdown. We have to take a steady and safe steps out of lockdown,” Mr Andrews said.
The Victorian government has flagged dropping all restrictions by the end of November, but only if there have been no new COVID cases in the 14 days prior.
“We believe we have struck a balance. It is not a perfect balance, there is no such thing, and I know they will be some industries that are disappointed they are not on that list but whenever you draw a line, there will always be different groups on either side of it.”