Exemption likely for Vic 8-yo's funeral

·2-min read

The Victorian government is likely to grant an exemption to its latest lockdown rules for the funeral of an eight-year-old boy who died while on school camp.

Cooper Onyett drowned at a Port Fairy indoor swimming pool last week while on his first overnight camp with his grade two class from Merrivale Primary School.

His family are due to hold his funeral in their hometown of Warrnambool, 250 kilometres west of Melbourne, on Friday - the first day of the state's seven-day lockdown.

Under the restrictions, funerals are restricted to 10 mourners, plus those required to conduct the service.

Cooper's mother Skye Meinen said she was "shocked and angered" the restrictions affect regional Victoria, where there have been no positive cases of COVID-19.

"We really need support tomorrow from family and friends to get us through this," she tearfully told 3AW radio on Thursday.

"We've all been so strong ... it would be detrimental to rip away the support that we've all welcomed and needed. It's not something that we need right now."

Ms Meinen said she was open to holding the funeral outdoors with masks to allow for more mourners.

Acting Premier James Merlino said he had asked the public health team to contact the family to discuss a possible exemption.

"This is a particularly tragic case ... it's every parent's worst nightmare - giving your kids a kiss, they're excited to go off to camp and then we have this tragic incident," he told reporters on Thursday.

Mr Merlino said it would be up to the public health team to make an exemption.

"But we do have extenuating circumstances," he said.

A GoFundMe page set up to help the family cover Cooper's funeral costs has already raised more than $95,000.

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