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    Melbourne curfew is lifted as Victoria records just 16 new coronavirus cases 

    Melbourne’s curfew will END after tonight as Daniel Andrews unveils a roadmap out of lockdown – but introduces a radical $5,000 fine for anyone who invites friends over to their house

    • Worst-hit state had 16 new cases on Sunday, up from 14 the previous day
    • Premier Daniel Andrews announced the 9pm curfew would end as cases fall 
    • Two-week rolling daily case average of 23.6 is well below the 30-50 hoped for

    Melbourne’s 9pm curfew will finally be lifted tomorrow night after the state recorded just 16 new cases and far fewer in past weeks than expected. 

    Premier Daniel Andrews announced major changes to the roadmap out of lockdown at his daily press conference on Sunday.

    How fast the state reopens will be determined by how many cases there are, instead of dates set ahead of time – as progress is faster than expected.

    ‘It means that getting back to the things we love – seeing more of the people we love – not only is achievable, it’s in our hands,’ Mr Andrews said.

    However, Mr Andrews also enormously increased the fine for breaking any coronavirus rules to $5,000 – well up from $1,600. 

    Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to tweak lockdown restrictions on Sunday following better-than-expected progress in fighting the spread of coronavirus

    Melbourne will on Monday move to its second phase of reopening, scrapping the curfew from 5am on Monday and loosening other restrictions.

    Weddings can have up to five people, private home inspections can resume, and primary school students will go back to school.

    Apprentices and final year university students can also return for needed in-person training and assessments.

    Victoria also suffered another two deaths in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, taking its total to 784.

    The number of new cases and deaths is up from Saturday’s total of 14 cases and one death. 

    The two-week rolling daily case average of 23.6 is well under the 30-50 case average health authorities were aiming for.

    Under the original plans to take effect from Monday, the 9pm curfew would remain, as well as the 5km travel limit and takeaway-only for restaurants and cafes.

    Restrictions around public gatherings would ease to allow up to five people from a maximum of two households to meet outside for social interaction.

    Childcare and kindergarten would reopen and some school students would return to classrooms in term 4.

    The Victorian opposition is calling for rules to be loosened well beyond this, saying the curfew should go, all school students should return and restaurants, retail and offices should re-open.

    It has been a dramatic few days in Victorian politics culminating in the resignation of Jenny Mikakos as health minister on Saturday morning.

    Police outnumber citizens in Melbourne as they are still only allowed outside for two hours of exercise and the curfew remains in place

    Police outnumber citizens in Melbourne as they are still only allowed outside for two hours of exercise and the curfew remains in place

    By the afternoon, Daniel Andrews had announced mental health minister Martin Foley as her replacement and he was sworn in.

    Ms Mikakos’ resignation came a day after she heard her boss tell the hotel quarantine inquiry board she was responsible for the Department of Health and Human Services, which was ultimately responsible for running the quarantine scheme.

    The hotel quarantine program in Victoria failed because private security guards breached infection control, causing the spread of the virus into the community and a devastating second wave.

    To date, 782 Victorians have died of the virus and the entire state has been subject to strict lockdowns, workforce and school closures and prolonged social isolation.

    ‘I have never wanted to leave a job unfinished but in light of the premier’s statement… and the fact there are elements in it that I strongly disagree with… I cannot continue to serve in his cabinet,’ Ms Mikakos wrote.

    ‘I am disappointed that my integrity has sought to be undermined. I am deeply sorry for the situation that Victorians find themselves in.

    ‘In good conscience, I do not believe that my action led to them.’

    Ms Mikakos will also be resigning from the Victorian parliament.

    The premier, like all leaders who came before the $3 million inquiry, told the board on Friday he did not know who made the decision to use private security guards.

    He pushed back on suggestions from reporters on Saturday that he should also resign, saying he would not run from a challenge and remained focused on fighting the pandemic and repairing the state’s economy.

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