Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews says Melbourne’s badly-hit hospitality and retail sectors can reopen next week if the current trend of low daily cases continues.
'We are well placed this weekend to be able to make very significant announcements about a further step to opening,” he told reporters after announcing Tuesday’s single case could be chalked off, potentially giving the state its first zero day since June 9.
"I'll stand here on Sunday and hopefully be able to confirm for Victorians that when it comes to retail, pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars, as well as a number of other settings that we can [reopen],” he said.
Mr Andrews said such a move would be a “dark opening” where the first one or two days of next week would be for staff to prepare establishments for customers before opening to the public.
He said the Victorian government was involved in lengthy discussion with industry leaders outlining on Monday night the planned changes.
Mr Andrews ruled out easing restrictions to allow patrons in venues for Saturday’s AFL grand final.
“I know people want to come together and be together to watch the grand final,” he said.
“That is not possible this year and if people try and do that, if people go and spend time at a friend's place are family member's place, then they potentially put at risk everything that we've built.”
Mr Andrews had pencilled in November 2 for hospitality and businesses changes but said it could be brought forward depending on daily cases.
Melbourne's 14-day rolling average of new cases also dropped below seven to 6.4 and the number of mystery cases in the city from October 4-17 also fell by two to 13.
Step Three initially required both numbers to fall to below five however health authorities have reiterated in recent weeks both may not need to be met to progress on the roadmap.
He warned some businesses would still remain high-risk and will not benefit from the changes.
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