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Daniel Andrews hints at lockdown exit for regional Victoria

Despite recording a spike in Covid cases, regional areas of Victoria could be out of lockdown next week.

With 60 per cent of Victorians having received their first Covid jab, Premier Daniel Andrews has hinted regional areas of the state could see restrictions easing soon.

"We hope to end the lockdown as soon as we can [in regional Victoria]," he said on Sunday.

Pictured is Victorian Premier Dan Andrews.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said regional areas of Victoria could be out of lockdown next week. Source: ABC/YouTube

Victoria has reported 183 more Covid-19 infections on Sunday, with 101 of the cases linked to known cases and outbreaks.

Although the Premier is yet to receive advice as to when exactly the lockdown would be lifted, he says it depends on the data reported from the weekend.

"In a form, they would be open. It's not going to be back to normal because there's still, we have to assume, some virus in regional Victoria," Mr Andrews said.

"I haven't got advice to do that yet, as you well know, we look at the most contemporary picture and when we get all that data in for what's occurred this weekend and what occurs early this week.

"Hopefully we can make a decision that takes the lockdown off in regional Victoria."

Warning it's not a 'complete' Covid freedom

Mr Andrews also said Shepparton, which was still reporting cases, would most likely remain in lockdown for the time being, but says he's sure they would be "catching up" to other regional areas soon.

"That won't be a return to everyone's open and maximum capacity, there will be less than that, but I'm sure... regional Victorians will have greater freedom and regional Victorian businesses will have much greater takings than they do now."

Although the five reasons needed for leaving home would be removed, the premier warned it would not be complete freedom.

Mr Andrews also said keeping a curfew in place was integral to reducing the spread of the virus.

"I apologise to people who can't go for a jog at 1 in the morning and I apologise to people who can't go to the supermarket at 3am. I think they are small prices to pay for essentially preventing a lot of people who think the rules don't apply to them, going and visiting others," he said.

Scott Morrison hints at interstate travel by Christmas

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says interstate travel could be on the cards by the end of the year, telling the Herald Sun that "holding onto Covid zero will only hold Australians back as the world moves forward".

He told the publication on Sunday there was a national plan to reopen states with 80 per cent vaccination rate, which would see restrictions eased when between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of people over the age of 16 are vaccinated.

"Friends can make plans for New Year’s Eve where they can hug and kiss at midnight," Mr Morrison said.

“And everyone can make plans for a family Christmas, with all our loved ones at the dinner table, cracking bonbons and bad jokes together.

“Nobody wants Covid to be the virus that stole Christmas, and we have a plan and the vaccinations available to ensure that’s not the case."

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