Victorians and Melbournians are holding their breath that Premier Daniel Andrews may move to lift restrictions as the state recorded just one case of Covid-19 overnight, bringing the 14-day average to 8.1.
Social media was awash with Australians calling for the restrictions in Melbourne and wider Victoria to be lifted.
Currently, restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne require residents to leave for four reasons only, though there is no more curfew.
Melbournians must also wear a face mask unless they have a “lawful reason” for refusing to.
Many users were thrilled, congratulating Andrews as well as all Victorians for the “great work” at keeping case numbers low.
But others were more urgent about the economy reopening.
“Get businesses operating so people’s lives are not devastated more than they already are!!” said Sean Anderson.
Another user going by the name of Morgan indicated he felt the consequences of the current restrictions were severe on both mental health and on the economy.
“1 new case and you are still locking all of Melbourne metro, announce the changes already. Ridiculous, a lot of people are suffering with mental health and some businesses have been closed for 7 months,” he tweeted.
However, some social media users were doubtful, and criticised the DHHS and chief health officer Brett Sutton for the heavy restrictions despite the low number of cases.
Yet he’ll still keep us in lockdown. Time to open up.— Ben Geurts (@ben_geurts) October 16, 2020
If DHHS and CHO can’t handle 1 and a few mystery cases - not fit for purpose— Cheriliem (@Cheriliem1) October 16, 2020
Others believed that easing of restrictions would not make much difference to the economy.
There’s a false notion that opening up will magically fix the economy and save businesses. Lockdown or not, this virus has devastated jobs and businesses around the world, and opening up tomorrow isn’t going to change that. NSW just reported higher unemployment figures than Vic— Gillyflowers 🇦🇺 (@gilliansally1) October 16, 2020
Victoria’s severe restrictions as a result of the second wave of Covid-19 cases has become a highly politicised, and emotional, issue.
The restrictions have caused pain for many as people are cut off from seeing loved ones.
My brother and sister missed out on saying goodbye to their dying grandfather last week in NSW because of you people. OPEN THE BORDERS— Elizabeth (@elizabethaleahh) October 16, 2020
What has Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said?
The Premier is expected to announce some kind of easing of restrictions on Sunday after he made comments on Friday, which recorded only two new cases, that Victoria was “well placed to take significant steps”.
“Today is a day where we can be optimistic and we can be positive,” Andrews said on Friday, as reported by ABC.
“Because we as a state have been as stubborn as this virus in our resolve to beat it, we are well placed to take significant steps on Sunday.
“It will not be everything that everyone wants because it's not safe to take all of those steps that were outlined in stage three.
“But on Sunday, I very much look forward to giving people a sense of what the coming weeks look like and it's fair to say, that if these numbers continue, we are very well placed to be broadly in alignment with our foreshadowed stage three.”
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