Image: James Ross/AAP
One hundred and eleven days in this stage of lockdown!
Victoria’s state of emergency was first declared on March 16, and after several four-week extensions, it was due to expire under the act in September. In fact, the current state of emergency was renewed a number of times and the maximum period of six months was due to expire on September 13, while stage 4 restrictions were still in place.
However the number of new infections and deaths saw an extension put in place which has continued relatively unchanged until Midnight Tuesday 27th October.
As a result of two consecutive days with no new cases and deaths it was an easy decision for the Andrews Government to declare Melburnians will be allowed to visit each other’s homes from 11.59pm yesterday.
With restrictions, people will now be allowed to socialise in homes with their friends and loved ones.
There will be a maximum of two adult visitors per house, per day, plus their dependent children. Households will be restricted to one visiting event per day, meaning those who receive visitors cannot also visit someone else that day.
Further, pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes are open as of today, with strict COVID guidelines in place and, with the strong possibility of further easing of restrictions being announced on November 8th.
Melburnians in particular and, Victorians overall, can feel pleased with what they have achieved under extremely difficult circumstances.
The battle is far from over, and with mandatory wearing of masks to continue into 2021, the aim is to minimise inter-person transmission of the COVID virus. The consensus among health professionals is, that Victoria now has a very refined and effective tracing regime which should assist in keeping large pockets of transmission down.
This is certain to be tested as we know there are, unfortunately, among us those who do not see a necessity to follow the COVID requirements. These are those who mistakenly believe that they have the individual right to put the rest of the community in harm with their ungrounded, unscientific, somewhat “flat-earth” beliefs.
Daniel Andrews and his government have made mistakes!
That is undeniable, however, there was no manual for dealing with the situation and for every poor decision made, many more good and effective decisions have been made.
The Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton is well supported with a very strong 57% approval in how he has handled the job, and the Premier, an equally strong 52% approval in a recent Age/Nine News Ipsos poll.
It is worth noting, those ratings were taken prior to the premiers announced relaxing of restrictions.
It is our belief, that the greater majority of complaints against how Daniel Andrews has handles the Pandemic are strongly politically motivated by those, who have failed to produce a more effective plan and would have had the restrictions that have led to this amazing result, removed weeks if not months ago.
We see this as quite probably having led us to a 3rd COVIF wave.
We echo the Premiers comments that, we have come a long way, that we have achieved much as a state but, it is not over. Even as restrictions are eased, we need to remain vigilant and carry out safe COVID practices.
Until a serum is available to inoculate us against this virus, it is ready to breakout again, if we let our guard down.
However with a wonderful “Double Donut” of cases, it is time to smile, it is time to feel the pressure easing, and, it is time to get out while practising safe COVID behaviour, and support Melbourne and Victorian businesses that have done it very hard.
Take a bow Victoria – you did it hard, you did it well!
Rob Greaves – Senior Editor