Taste of freedom for hairdressers, joggers and golfers but lockdown nightmare drags on for millions – with bans on AFL Grand Final parties a depressing reminder of Victoria’s year from hell
- Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews eased restrictions on miserable Melbourne
- People lined up out on the streets to simply get a haircut after months inside
- Golf courses are now able to open to groups of just two players at a time
- Joggers have congregated at popular city running tracks previously outlawed
- Desperate business owners in hospitality and retail look on in despair and wait
Bedraggled Melburnians have hit the streets to grab a haircut, have a hit of golf and enjoy a run a little further from their home detention centres.
As Stage Four restrictions eased ever so slightly on Monday, many Melburnians wasted no opportunity in making the most of it.
Long suffering golfers hit the links across metropolitan Melbourne after spending months watching their interstate mates enjoying a game via social media.
A Melbourne woman takes to The Tan on Monday after Stage Four restrictions on movement were eased
People are seen getting their hair cut at Joey Scandizzo Salon in Toorak on the same day hairdressers reopened
Seb Mottram hit Albert Park Golf Course for a hit after months in lockdown
At Albert Park Golf Course, next to Melbourne’s Grand Prix circuit – which was cancelled earlier this year – saw people teeing off bright and early.
Mates Seb Mottram and Brad Hickey were among the first to enjoy a round, although their game was obviously rusty after months in lockdown.
Across the road, by Albert Park Lake, joggers returned for a pleasant run under the Melbourne skyline.
Just up the road, along the Yarra River and taking in views of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, crowds of joggers did laps of The Tan running track around the botanical gardens.
It is the course recently made famous by Brighton Karen Jodi Grollo, who complained that she had seen all there was to see walking about her home up the road.
Until today, Melburnians have been unable to travel more than 5km from their homes.
Monday’s four new infections on Monday takes its statewide 14-day rolling case average to 7.7 new cases per day, down from eight on Sunday.
Melburnians had been warned that if that number had not dropped below five, with no more than five mystery cases over the two weeks leading up to October 19, they might not have any restrictions eased at all.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews agreed to allow some easing of restrictions anyway, which allowed hairdressers to finally re-open.
Trapped Melburnians have not been able to have their hair cut at a barber or salon since Stage Four restrictions were implemented at the beginning of August.
Melburnians can now travel 25 kilometres from their homes and spend an unlimited time outside.
Up to 10 people from two households can gather outdoors and golf courses and tennis courts are allowed to reopen.
People lined-up outside hairdressers to get have a long needed trim on Monday.
People were seen lining up at Oliver’s Barder Shop in St Kilda on Monday
People line up at Oliver’s Barder Shop in St Kilda to get their hair cut on Monday
Melburnians who live as far as 25kms away from The Tan – along the Yarra River – can now go for a walk or run there
In St Kilda, just outside of the CBD, a line of elderly gentleman stood outside a barber shop and patiently waited for a haircut.
The streets were otherwise deserted as retail outlets and pubs continue to wait for their turn to re-open.
In trendy Toorak, Kings Domain Barbershop was heaving with blokes desperate for a haircut.
Across the road, at Joey Scandizzo Salon, hairdressers were finally hard at work.
Like St Kilda, Toorak and its main shopping strip along Chapel Street, remained largely deserted.
A nearby cafe owner could only watch on as she too lived in hope for the day when she could fling open her doors and allow diners back in.
‘We just hope people can start coming back to work,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
Under the premier’s revised road map out of COVID-19 lockdown, retail businesses and hospitality will not be allowed to open up until next month.
The four reasons to leave home will also be scrapped.
Under the revised opening plans, hospitality will only be able to trade with a maximum of 20 people inside and 50 outside.
The delay in opening up the rest of Melbourne’s crippled economy continues to outrage many Melburnians.
Lucas Restaurants – the hospitality group behind Chin Chin, Kisumé and Hawker Hall – has been forced to hire two full-time psychologists to help deal with the mental toll of COVID-19 on its staff.
Chris Lucas remains angry that Mr Andrews continues to keep the hospitality industry shut and has accused him of pursuing an ‘elimination strategy’ on the virus rather than containment.
The hairdressers at Joey Scandizzo were hard at it on Monday as long suffering women were finally allowed to come in and get their hair done
Blokes were lined-up outside Kings Domain Barber Shop in Toorak on Monday
People wait to get their hair cut inside Kings Domain Barber Shop in Toorak
With the AFL Grand Final being played on Saturday night, the lead-up is usually one of the biggest weeks on Melbourne’s boozing calendar.
As it stands, footy fans will not even be allowed to gather with even a couple of mates at home to watch the big game between the Cats and Tigers.
Melbourne radio was awash with angry calls – many stating the same sentiment.
‘It’s as if the premier just wants us to break the rules,’ was the general consensus.
In footy mad Melbourne, the Grand Final is on par with Christmas as one of the biggest social events of the year.
Mr Andrews said the Grand Final would be ‘very different this year’, urging fans to stay home and watch it with family and warning that police would be out in force.
‘You cannot have friends over into your home. You cannot pretend that it is over because we all desperately want it to be,’ he said.
‘I know that many people would normally spend time with family and friends to celebrate that day … it is a big part of who we are.’
‘As important as it is, in a cultural sense, in a very passionate way, for every single football fan across our state, it is not worth risking all that we have done, all that we have built, all that we can do in just a few days’ time by having gatherings that are unsafe.’
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said people choosing to gather inside homes with friends or family would pose a risk for further spread of the coronavirus.
‘It’s a bit unfortunate that this is the timing of the grand final,’ Professor Sutton said.
Instead, the killjoy had recommended football fans enjoy the game at home with their immediate family and ‘maybe they can link up by Zoom and share their enthusiasm or heartbreak’ with other friends.
Golfers were up bright and early at Albert Park on Monday
A jogger gets about The Tan on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD
The Tan was bustling with people out for some fresh air after months in lockdown
Federal treasurer, and Victorian, Josh Frydenberg on Monday morning vented his fury at the Victorian premier for his ongoing refusal to reopen the state.
‘The bloody-mindedness is unforgivable,’ Mr Frydenberg said on the Today show.
‘There’s been a callous indifference in Victoria from the government to the loss of jobs and to the plight of small business.’
Mr Frydenberg described the situation as ‘tragic’ and warned that 1,000 jobs would be lost each and every day the state remained in lockdown.
‘Now, that is unacceptable given that there has been the success and the progress in bringing down the number of daily cases,’ he said.
Mr Andrews bit back during his daily press conference.
‘It’s all about the politics with this bloke, isn’t it? That’s all he does. That all he does, he is not a leader, he is just a liberal,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘Victorians are sick of it. Victorians want their family protected, they wanted their health issue dealt with so we can open up.’