Australia Corona Virus

Victoria’s lockdown restrictions to ease slightly to allow picnics and more exercise

Source: The AGE

Victoria’s lockdown restrictions will be slightly eased today, The Age has confirmed, with small outdoor social gatherings set to return from tomorrow.

Two government sources with knowledge of the government’s planning said cabinet had decided against waiting until Sunday to grant additional freedoms to Victorians.

Premier Daniel Andrews will instead make announcements today to mark the state hitting its 70 per cent first dose vaccination target.

As well as limited outdoor gatherings such as picnics, the five-kilometre movement restriction will expand to 10 kilometres, outdoor gyms and skate parks will reopen and Victorians will be able to exercise for three hours per day instead of two.

While the latter three changes were promised by Mr Andrews a fortnight ago as a reward for reaching the 70 per cent first dose mark, allowing picnics is an additional step that will have a most significant impact on Victorians’ daily lives.

It is likely that only those who have received at least one dose of vaccine will be allowed to attend outdoor social gatherings, the government sources said, though it remains unclear how this will be policed.

The Premier is expected to detail the changes at a press conference later today and they will come into effect from 11.59pm tonight.

Mr Andrews will reveal the government’s long-term road map out of lockdown on Sunday, including what freedoms are available at the 70 and 80 per cent double dose vaccination targets.

He has also suggested the reopening plan will be linked to hospitalisation numbers.