Statement From The Premier - Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap to recovery

On Sunday 6th September, the Premier of Victoria, Dan Andrews provided an update on the Roadmaps to Recovery.

These roadmaps outline the steady and sustainable steps that our health experts tell us will see us out of this – safely.

They are about making sure we stay one step ahead of the virus – and making sure we don’t have to take another backwards step.

Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria each have their own roadmaps, relating to how many active cases are currently in the community.

STATEMENT FROM THE PREMEIER

6th Sep 2020

Currently, Melbourne is in Stage 4 restrictions. From 11:59pm on 13 September, we’ll take our First Step towards COVID Normal. Regional Victoria, currently in Stage 3 restrictions, will be able to jump to the Second Step of reopening.

By moving from stages to steps, we’re giving Victorians a long-term plan for our path out of restrictions and into COVID Normal.

Importantly, we want the whole of the state to be at COVID Normal by the end of the year – making sure family barbeques, summer holidays and a trip to the beach can all still happen.

These steps will be guided by dates – and the data. That means if we’re on-track to take a step forward, we can do so confidently.

With clear and articulated case targets, we’re creating “trigger points” for review for our public health team – and giving Victorians even more insight into how we’re tracking.

The First Step will mean modest changes. Small improvements we can make, to make life a little bit easier, without giving away any of Victorians’ hard-won gains.

That includes the creation of a “bubble” for people living alone and single parents. This would allow more isolated Victorians to nominate one other person to help them through this – a friend or family member that can visit them in their home.

I understand that isolation is a real issue for many. But I’d ask people only add someone to their bubble if they need to.  After all, the more people you see, the more chance there is of coming into contact with someone who has the virus, putting us back on a path to lockdown.

Exercise will also be expanded. Under the First Step, it will also be lengthened to two hours every day. This could be a two-hour block or split into two one-hour blocks.

You can continue exercising with one other person outside your household – or those you live with.

We’ll also expand this to include “social interaction”. These are activities that don’t require the reopening of a workplace or recreational facility – things like sharing a picnic in your local park or reading a book at your local beach. And for parents just as much as kids, the reopening of playgrounds.

Finally, recognising we’re slowly getting to warmer weather, curfew will also move back an hour to 9pm.

As I said, these are the small sustainable forward steps we can take to make life just a little bit easier.  Ahead of 28 September, and if we’re on track with our case numbers, our public health team will review our progress and ensure we can confidently move metropolitan Melbourne to the Second Step.

Under the Second Step in metropolitan Melbourne, we’ll get more people back to work – some 100,000 workers across construction, manufacturing, and landscape garden and maintenance workers who operate alone.

Childcare will also open without permits – making life a little less stressful for parents working from home. 

I know for a lot of businesses, they’ll want to know what comes next for them too, and certainty to plan for the future.  And while the current arrangements will remain in place until at least 28 September, we’ll continue meeting with you – and listening to you – to make sure you have that certainty going forward.

For regional Victoria, the Second Step will mean some changes too.

From 11:59pm on 13 September, people living alone and single parents will also be able to have a bubble.

Up to five people will be able to gather together in outdoor public places – the park, the beach – up to a maximum of two households. By limiting it to two households, we’re again limiting the virus’s ability to spread.

Outdoor pools and playgrounds in regional Victoria will also open. And religious services can be conducted outside with a maximum of five people, plus a faith leader.

For schools and students, we’ll begin a staged return to onsite learning from Term Four.

All VCE and VCAL students – in Melbourne and regional Victoria – will attend onsite for the General Achievement Test and other essential assessments from 5 October.

In regional Victoria, all students will return to onsite learning between 12 and 16 October and in Melbourne, VCE and VCAL students and Prep to Grade 2 will also return for onsite learning from the 12 of October.

There’s a lot to take in – many of those questions will be answered on the website www.vic.gov.au/roadmap – and if they're not, we will work to answer them over coming days.

I understand there’ll be some people who’ll be disappointed, those who wanted more and sooner. But these are the steady and sustainable steps that our health experts tell us will see us out of this – safely.

This roadmap is about making sure we stay one step ahead of the virus – and making sure we don’t have to take another backwards step.

I say it often: we all want this to be over. And we all really do. But for this to be over, we each have to find it in ourselves to keep going just a little bit longer.

We’ve all come too far, given too much, to see it wasted.

By not seeing our dads today, we’re that much closer to seeing them at Christmas.

By spending another night on the couch at home, we’re that much closer to being able to catch up with mates at the park.

And by staying the course, we will get through this – and we’ll get through it together.