Although Melburnians are subject to another fortnight of stage four lockout, set to expire on September 13, Premier Daniel Andrews has warned that it is still too early to prepare a way out of the restrictions.
He admitted that while the numbers fell-with 114 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, and just 94 on Saturday-Victorians will “have to stay the course on this.”
“At 100, at 94, at 114, whatever it is around that number, we simply could not open up,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“Those numbers would explode, we would finish up in perhaps an even worse situation than we have been in recent months.
“We cannot fritter away all that good work and all that sacrifice.”
Andrews said that until figures fell further-which he said would be “quite soon”-the authorities will speak “in more definite terms about what the weeks and months ahead look like.”
“I understand and appreciate fully that everybody wants that clear sense of what the next steps will be, but they need to be announcements that can be relied upon,” he said.
The Premier said the next set of restrictions would be focused on “science and data and evidence” and would possibly be in effect for “many months”
“There will be the odd outbreak and the odd case but if you get it down to really low levels, then you can have confidence that you can pounce on those, you can contain those and we don’t then have to go back to shutdowns, back to rules that impact everybody,” he added before reassuring Victorians a plan would “come soon”.
“We all want the second wave to be defeated,” he said.
“But it needs to be defeated properly so that it is not some smouldering fire that then takes off again and potentially burns more intensely than it ever has.
“We simply can’t have that happen.”
Andrews said Monday he ‘d be making announcements on how the government will work with the business community to relax restrictions on the process.
“That is not for today. It will be as soon as it possibly can be and we will give people as much notice as we possibly can.”
The 2830 active cases in Victoria include 406 health care staff and 1277 in the elderly care sector.
There are 472 Victorians in coronavirus hospital, of which 25 are in intensive care.