Metro Melbourne’s move to step three of its Covid-19 recovery roadmap might have to wait, with the premier concerned it’s “unlikely” to happen next Sunday.
Victoria reported 14 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday and no deaths. Thirteen are from Metro Melbourne alone.
But Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters it is “unlikely” Metro Melbourne will be able to move to step three by next Sunday, despite Melbourne reporting a 14-day rolling case average of 9.5.
Step three on the state’s recovery roadmap includes no restrictions on leaving home, gatherings of up to 10 people in public, outdoor service for pubs and cafes, and all retail reopened. This was originally slated to occur on October 26.
Last month, as Victoria’s daily cases plummeted and the average daily cases were at 25.1, Mr Andrews said a move to step three could happen a week earlier – on October 19.
But to get to step three, the state needs a daily average of less than five cases over a 14-day period with less than five in total from an unknown source.
“I think it is unlikely that we will be able to move as fast as we would like to have done next Sunday,” the premier told reporters.
“I think it is unlikely that we will be able to take as eager steps as we would have hoped to take next Sunday – big steps.”
Mr Andrews acknowledged many people have “significant frustrations”.
“I know everyone wants me to make all of the announcements for next Sunday now and I would like to as well but we're not in a position to do that,” he said.
“We need to look at the data as it comes in each and every day this week that will particularly focus on mystery cases and those numbers are coming down, as well as the point I made around narrative and the story that sits behind each and every of those cases.”
While the move to step three likely won’t occur next weekend, Mr Andrews said some restrictions will be eased.
He said there will be some “significant” changes but wouldn’t delve into them.
The premier was also asked if there could still be restrictions next month to which he replied: “We will not have these sorts of restrictions well into November.”
The number of active infections is now 192, with 21 of those in hospital and only one in intensive care.
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