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    ‘Crushing news’: Scott Morrison takes a swipe at Daniel Andrews over his lockdown announcement – claiming Victoria should follow NSW’s lead and focus on improving its contract tracing

    • Melbourne will remain under coronavirus lockdown until at least October 26 
    • Mr Andrews has outlined a four-step plan for the state to return to normality 
    • Prime Minister Scott Morrison took a swipe at the embattled Victorian premier 
    • He said keeping Melbourne locked down will ‘come at further economic cost’

    Scott Morrison has taken aim at Daniel Andrews for extending Melbourne‘s lockdown, claiming better health care trumps tough restrictions. 

    The city will remain under draconian stage four restrictions until at least October 26 but some restrictions will be eased from midnight next Sunday.

    Mr Andrews has outlined a four-step plan for the state to return to normality if case numbers continue to fall.

    But the prime minister took a swipe at the embattled Victorian premier, saying his decision to keep Melbourne locked down will ‘come at further economic cost’.

    Scott Morrison has subtly criticised Daniel Andrews for keeping Melbourne in lockdown for ten more weeks

    Mr Andrews has outlined a four-step plan for the state to return to normality if case numbers continue to fall

    Mr Andrews has outlined a four-step plan for the state to return to normality if case numbers continue to fall

    ‘The continued restrictions will have further impact on the Victorian and national economy, in further job losses and and loss of livelihoods, as well as impacting mental health,’ a statement from Mr Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Health Minister Greg Hunt read. 

    Mr Morrison said it is of ‘critical importance’ that Victoria’s contact tracing is strengthened to the ‘highest level possible’. 

    ‘In NSW, this has enabled the Berejiklian Government to respond to multiple outbreaks while permitting businesses and people to carry out their daily lives in a CovidSafe way,’ the statement read. 

    ‘Restrictions are not substitutes for strengthening health systems to cope with the virus, especially when community outbreak is brought under control.’ 

    ‘The most effective means of reducing community transmission must be an effective testing, tracing and quarantine system, bolstered by enhanced local health capacity and physical distancing.

    ‘These are essential prerequisites to reduce the spread, save lives and manage economic and job impacts.’

    Melbourne will remain under a nightly curfew and people will be unable to leave their homes for non-essential reasons until at least October 26.

    The lockdown will lift on that date if the average number of new cases falls below five and there are fewer than five unknown source cases.

    Up to five visitors from a nominated household and outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people will also be allowed.

    ‘We can’t run out of lockdown. We have to take steady and safe steps out of lockdown to find that COVID normal,’ Mr Andrews said on Sunday.

    ‘I want a Christmas that is as close to normal as possible and this is the only way, these steps are the only way that we will get to that point.’

    Melbourne will remain under a nightly curfew and people will be unable to leave their homes for non-essential reasons until at least October 26

    Melbourne will remain under a nightly curfew and people will be unable to leave their homes for non-essential reasons until at least October 26

    The premier said the nominated 14-day average of five cases provided a 97 per cent chance of avoiding having to go back into lockdown.

    Victoria’s average daily number of cases during the previous 14 days was about 100.

    ‘If you open up at that level you are not open for long,’ he said.

    ‘We either do it this way or in fact we won’t be opening up at all. We’ll just have a short respite from these rules, which I know and appreciate and understand are incredibly difficult.’

    The last step will come into effect from November 23, if Victoria goes 14 days with no new cases, allowing public gatherings of up to 50 people and 20 home visitors at a time.

    All remaining restrictions will be removed when Victoria goes 28 days with no new cases, although masks will likely remain compulsory for some time.

    VICTORIA’S ROADMAP OUT OF THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:

    Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced his roadmap out of the strict COVID-19 lockdown restrictions currently in place throughout Victoria

    Step one: The first step will come in to place 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:

    Curfew will be 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 

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