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Local News - Victoria

What are the new rules for Melbourne? A guide to Daniel Andrews’ latest road map out of restrictions


The Victorian government on Sunday announced the new lockdown rules that will apply to the state. The government had already foreshadowed a number of significant changes including changes to mask-wearing rules, household visits and patron limits at hospitality and entertainment venues.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday morning confirmed this and more. So what are those new rules?

Below you’ll find a building list of what we know about each of the levels, when they will apply (unless otherwise stated the new rules kick in on Sunday at 11.59pm) and what they mean. Previous announcements have shown there is often room for clarification and exceptions so please check back as this story will be updated to reflect new information.




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Local News - Victoria

What are the new rules for Melbourne? A guide to Daniel Andrews’ latest road map out of restrictions



Movement and visiting

From 11.59pm, Sunday, November 8

  • 25km travel limit lifted;
  • ‘Ring of steel’ separating regional and metro Victoria removed;
  • Two visitors from different households plus dependents allowed per day, either together or separately;
  • If you can work from home, you must work from home; and
  • A mask must be worn at all times outside the home.

From 11.59pm, November 22:

  • No change to mask rules;
  • Private gatherings – up to 10 visitors can visit a household; and
  • Public gatherings – up to 50 people can gather outdoors from any number of households, excludes infants under 12 months.

Hospitality

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From 11.59pm, Sunday, November 8

  • Restaurants, hotels, cafes, bars open indoor to a maximum of 40 (10 people per space), outdoor maximum of 70 (one person per two square metres).

From 11.59pm, November 22:

  • Indoor cap of 100 people, density of one person per 4 square metres; and
  • Outdoor cap 200, density of one per 2 square metres.

Arts and entertainment

From 11.59pm, Sunday, November 8

  • Galleries – open with 20 people per space;
  • Cinemas – open with 20 people per space;
  • Museums – open with 20 people per space;
  • Gaming machines – open with 10 people per venue; and
  • Casino – open with 10 separate rooms, 10 people per room, electronic machines and gaming tables only.

From 11.59pm, November 22:

  • Cinemas and theatres open with a limit of 100 people, groups of 20 and a density cap of one person per 4 square metre;
  • Gaming machines – 100 people, density of one person per 4 square metre;
  • Casino – patron cap to be determined, density of one person per 4 square metre;
  • Strip clubs – permitted to open with a limit of 100 people, groups of 10 seated; and
  • Brothels – permitted to open with a 10 person limit.

Fitness and Sport

From 11.59pm, Sunday, November 8

  • Gyms, fitness studios open to a maximum of 20 people per venue (one person per 8 square metres, 10 per space). Patrons continue to wear face masks unless out of breath. Staggered class times and time gap of 15 minutes to avoid congregation and exceeding group limits;
  • Indoor pools up to 20 people or one per four square metres;
  • Indoor trampolining centres for under 18s. Same density requirements as fitness studios; and
  • Indoor non-contact community sport allowed for 18 years and under. Maximum of 20 people. Sports capable of 1.5m distancing. Spectators limited to one parent or guardian.

From 11.59pm, November 22:

  • Gyms – limit of 100 people, groups of 20;
  • Indoor sport – limit of 100 people, groups of 20;
  • Large sporting venues – limit of 25 per cent of capacity;
  • Outdoor physical recreation – limit of 500 people, groups of 50;
  • Indoor pools – limit of 50 people;
  • Outdoor pools – no cap but density of one person per 4 sqm;
  • Indoor skateparks – limit of 50 people; and
  • Trampoline centres – limit of 50 people, groups of 20.

Accommodation

From 11.59pm, Sunday, November 8:

  • Can open with household, partner and other conditions.

From 11.59pm, November 22:

  • cap of 10 people from any number of families.

Community and Worship

From 11.59pm, Sunday, November 8:

  • Funerals indoors a maximum of 20 mourners, outdoors maximum of 50 mourners;
  • No change to weddings;
  • Faith gatherings indoor maximum of 20 people plus one faith leader, outdoors for maximum 50 people plus one faith leader. Only one gathering at a time; and
  • Libraries and toy libraries can open with 20 maximum indoors.

From 11.59pm, November 22:

  • Weddings permitted with up to 100 people or 10 people in a private residence;
  • Funerals permitted with up to 100 people or 10 people in a private residence; and
  • Open with a limit of up to 100 people in groups of 20.

Healthcare

From 11.59pm, Sunday, November 8

  • Care facilities visits – one household per day for two hours;
  • Hairdressers allowed to visit care facilities; and
  • Hospital visits – one household per day for two hours.

From 11.59pm, November 22:

  • Visits – 5 people from 2 households, no time limits, children and excursions allowed;

Personal care

From 11.59pm, November 22:

  • Masks can be removed for facials, facial waxing, beard trimmings, piercings

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Australian News

Nation’s road map to ‘COVID normal’ revealed


National Cabinet has revealed its road map to “COVID normal” by Christmas, providing Australians with a picture of what life might look like by the end of the year.

The three-step plan outlines a gradual reopening of the nation towards free movement between states and territories, everyone back at their workplaces, larger gatherings at entertainment venues and no restrictions on weddings and funerals.

Stage three of the plan, which is called “COVID Normal” and has a target date of Christmas, would see the removal of state border restrictions and free movement between areas with no community transmission, as outlined by Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier today.

By then there should also be quarantine-free travel with New Zealand and “other low risk cohorts”, with international student and seasonal worker pilot programs to be expanded.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

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Mr Morrison said West Australian Premier Mark McGowan still had some reservations about reopening his state but the PM was hopeful the entire country could be reopen by late December.

“It’d be very familiar, I think to many, the reopening plan to get Australia open by Christmas of this year,” Mr Morrison said.

“Importantly, this plan not only details the opening of various activities within our economy (but) within our community and society.”

In stage three, all food and drink venues, including food courts, will be open – with physical distancing of 1.5 metres between groups – and venues will continue to collect contact details for contact tracing.

Retail stores will be open, schools and education centres will be open, auctions and open houses can have gatherings in accordance with the two or four square metre rule, and all sports and recreation venues will be open with social distancing.

Also by Christmas, events with fewer than 500 people can proceed with a COVIDSafe plan, though larger events will need approval from state and territory authorities.

In what will bring relief to many Australians, stage three would also see no restrictions on weddings, funerals and religious services, as long as contact details for those attending are collected, and people stay at home if they feel unwell.

There will also be no restrictions on gatherings and workplaces, as long as the 1.5m distance rule is observed, and everyone will be able to return to workplaces unless otherwise advised by state and territory public health authorities.

The steps are subject to change based on state and territory health advice, and could be superseded by responses to localised outbreaks.

They also require operating businesses to have a COVIDSafe plan and rely on continued physical distancing of 1.5 metres, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and effective testing and contact tracing.

Mr Morrison said the next National Cabinet meeting was scheduled for November 13, when leaders could discuss potentially moving the timetable forward.

The road map released today also identified the sectors that were critically at risk due to COVID-19 restrictions.

They include aviation — which is down more than 95 per cent on pre-COVID levels, and arts, sports and entertainment sectors, where 126,000 workers are expected to lose their jobs.

The number of tourism industry jobs fell by 109,000 over the year, and the nation’s universities are expected to have suffered “significant impact to revenue” due to the fall in international student tuition fees and other forms of income.

Retail is also suffering, with non-food sales in Victoria up to 65 per cent lower than a year ago.

Other sectors at risk due to restrictions include independent food and beverage retailers, hospitality, manufacturing, housing, and small businesses operating on slim cash reserves.



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Toddlers wander near busy Gold Coast road after escaping from childcare centre


Two small children have been rescued from beside a road flooded with cars after doing a runner from a Gold Coast childcare centre on Friday.

Dramatic dashcam footage posted to social media has captured the moment a driver who spotted the children came to their aid just as one motioned to step off the gutter at Coomera’s Foxwell Road.

Two schoolchildren also appeared on the scene after the toddlers had wandered alone close to the main road.

“We literally just saved the lives of two babies today,” the driver Rondell Nicol wrote on a local Facebook page.

The children, both aged two, had been attending Okee Dokee Coomera Rivers childcare centre, which says it is assisting in an investigation from the Queensland education department.

The mother of one of the children, Skyla, told the ABC the incident was her worst nightmare and she was grateful for the quick actions of strangers who saved her daughter.

“She got out through the back gate, she went walking down on Foxwell Road where the main road is,” Amelia Finney said.

“She was seconds away – she went to take a step off the gutter to try and go onto the road.”

Ms Finney claimed the centre did not inform her of the incident until an hour after her daughter’s close shave and said Skyla would not be returning.

“They were very apologetic, but I don’t think it’s right they got out and I wasn’t notified,” she said.

An Okee Dokee spokeswoman said in a statement an investigation was under way and parents had been notified.

“No harm was brought to any child,” she said.

Queensland Police are also investigating the incident.



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Local News - Victoria

Two dead in South Gippsland road crash


A woman in her 30s and a young boy are dead after a car slammed into the back of their car in south-east Victoria on Friday afternoon.

Police say the pair, who were in a black sedan, were in a stationary car waiting to turn right on the South Gippsland Highway near Korumburra about 3.30pm when it was hit from behind by a car.

The impact caused by the blue ute pushed the black sedan across the road into the path of a truck transporting cattle.

The driver of the car, a woman in her 30s, and a young boy also in the car, died at the scene.



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One river still rising as SES work to stop homes flooding on Great Ocean Road


Warrnambool Incident controller Alfred Mason said on Saturday morning that no Warrnambool homes were yet inundated, but four homes had so far been flooded in the Port Fairy.

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to stop that water going through,” he told ABC Radio South West.

He said there were about 40 crews of both SES and CFA volunteers between Warrnambool and Port Fairy still out on Saturday morning sandbagging and pumping water to protect homes from flood waters.

“The Hopkins River is still rising and we’re monitoring that in case it has an affect on Allansford,” he said.

Allansford, near Warrnambool, was already experiencing inundated homes on Thursday.

Mr Mason said the Moine River was becoming stable, but would continue to be high and would drop very slowly due to the high sea levels at the moment.

“It’ll only drop 300 mm from a high tide,” he said. “So water will actually be around now probably at least in these area through to tomorrow”.

He asked residents not to drive through flood waters at all, as it could create a “wake” and push water over the top of sandbags and into people’s homes.

Residents of Warnambool and Port Fairy and its surrounding areas were told by the State Emergency Services on Friday to decide whether to evacuate, with a number of road closures and flooding above floor level of a single story home expected. The emergency warning remains in place as of Saturday morning.

Warrnambool received 84.2mm of rain across Wednesday and Thursday, with more rain falling in two days than the region usually receives during the whole month of October. 93.6mm fell in the Grampians at Mt Williams, and 62mm in Camperdown.

Port Fairy recorded 66mm across two days, with no rain falling in the town from 9am on Friday.

Keris Arndt, senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, said the impact of Wednesday and Thursdays rains was delayed and the coastal towns were only now bearing the brunt of flooding.

“Flood waters take a fair while to move down the river catchments,” Mr Arndt said.

In Warnambool, areas adjacent to the the Merri River, including Dennington and Woodford are currently flooded after the river peaked at 8.132 metres on Friday morning.

Russells Creek peaked late on Friday, with drone footage shared by a local SES unit showing a vast low lying residential area inundated near Wentworth street.

Both the Merri River and Russells creek systems are expected to very slowly recede today.

In Port Fairy, the Moyne River, Murray Brook, Reedy Creek and Belfast Lough all flooded overnight., with low lying properties in surrounding areas likely to be impacted by flooding.

Mr Mason said the floods affecting the Great Ocean Road towns were a one in 10 to 20-year event and were likely to have greater impacts than an August 2010 flood event, which resulted in more than 167 properties impacted by flooding.

The weather bureau says Sunday and Monday will be more “settled” in the south-west, with generally drier conditions before a wet cold front overnight into Tuesday would bring showers again to coastal towns.

The SES says those who choose to evacuate their homes should remember to take pets, mobile phone, spare clothes and medications.

Travel to the home of family or friends who are in a safe location, away from flooding and to be aware of any road closures when you leave.

For those travelling, be aware of road hazards including mud, debris and damaged roads or bridges and never drive, walk or ride through floodwater.

There is still a moderate flood warning in place for the Ovens and King Rivers in the north north-east of the state, while there are minor warnings issued for the Glenelg River, Goulburn RIver, Macalister River and the Seven and Castle Creeks.

Initial minor warnings are also out for the Barwon River, Broken River, Kiewa River, Werribee River and Yarra River.

Melbourne will enjoy a relatively warmer day on Saturday compared to earlier in the week, with a maximum temperature of about 20 degrees.

Mr Arndt said there was a chance of a shower up to 1mm mostly in the outer north eastern suburbs, which would take Melbourne up to it’s annual rainfall average total for the year already.

As of Saturday morning Melbourne was .8mm away from hitting the 648 millimetre yearly average, which will be the earliest it’s done so in 24 years.

Mr Arndt said there would be a “weak front that moves in overnight Saturday across Melbourne meaning Sunday would be slightly cooler than Saturday with a top of 17 degrees.

“It’ll be pretty warm early next week,” he said, with Monday set for a top of 24 degrees, and 21 on Tuesday.


To stay up to date with local warnings:

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Giro D’Italia disrupted by crash as helicopter blows a barrier onto road, injuring Italy’s Luca Wackermann


Italian Luca Wackermann has withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia with multiple injuries after a freak crash in Tuesday’s fourth stage caused by a low-flying helicopter.

The crash, which brought down Wackermann and Dutchman Etienne van Empel of the Vini Zabu-KTM team, happened at the end of the stage when a barrier was blown over by the draft from the helicopter and struck the two riders.

A statement from the Italian team said Wackermann, 28, was concussed in the incident and also received fractured nasal bones, as well as extensive bruising to his face and body.

He also has a suspected back fracture.

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“Wackermann will spend the night in the hospital kept under observation and losing that chance to live a dream vanished because of an episode that could have brought some heavier consequences,” the statement added.

Earlier in the day, pre-race favourite Geraint Thomas abandoned the event with a fractured pelvis after hitting an empty water bottle and crashing in the neutral zone on Monday.

“It’s so frustrating,” Thomas said.

“I’d put so much work into this race.

“So for it just to end like this is gutting,” added the 34-year-old Welshman, who claimed the Tour de France title in 2018.

A cyclist rides in the Giro D'Italia, with cuts on his leg and body, and holes in his jersey.
Geraint Thomas’s race ended on stage four, a day after his hard fall caused by running over an empty water bottle.(AP/La Presse: Marco Alpozzi)

Portugal’s Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep) retained the pink jersey and opened a two-second lead over Ecuadorean Jonathan Caicedo after picking up a couple of bonus points in an intermediate sprint 25km from the finish line on stage four.

Frenchman Arnaud Demare edged out Peter Sagan in a bunch sprint to claim victory in the stage, the race’s last day in Sicily.

The last 30km of the 140km stage were flat, offering opportunities for the top sprinters, and it was Demare who powered across the line fractionally ahead of Sagan.

Slovakia’s Sagan had to settle for second place again as he did on stage two. Italian Davide Ballerini was third.

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SA Police frustrated by road fatalities


SA police say it is ‘frustrating’ when drivers or riders die on the roads as they reveal results of a five-day operation targeting five major contributors to serious injury crashes.

Over the long weekend, two people were seriously injured while, in a separate incident, a 19-year-old man from Mount Barker died on Monday night after coming off his motorbike and hitting a tree.

Officer in Charge of the Traffic Services Branch Superintendent Bob Gray said there was a strong association with motorcycle fatalities and speed or drink and drug driving.

“It’s about the way people behave when they get on that motorbike and ride it, he said.

“It’s always frustrating when someone loses their life on our roads, particularly a 19-year-old who had many years in front of him.

“The consequences for families, work colleagues, communities is terrible and I wouldn’t like to see anybody go through that.

“We are urging all motorcyclists to be extra vigilant, and ride to the road conditions.”

Supt Gray said it was concerning that the 15 motorcyclists who have died this year were all males.

“Males are over-represented in road fatalities but particularly with motorcyclists’ accidents and serious injury crashes and a lot of it comes because males make bad decisions and take on risk-taking behaviour.”

So far this year, there have been 15 motorcyclists and two passengers who have died on the roads.

The total number of lives lost on SA roads is 68 compared to 83 at this time last year.

Over the long weekend, SA police launched an operation — which ran from Thursday to Monday — and targeted people not wearing a seatbelt, driving while distracted, drink or drug driving, speeding and dangerous road users.

During that period, 5412 people were alcohol tested with 41 detected under the influence.

One of them was a man at Roxby Downs who returned a positive test of 0.235 early Sunday morning.

He lost his licence for a year and had his vehicle impounded for 28 days and will be summonsed to appear in court at a later date.

A total of 44 people, of the 631 who were drug tested, returned a positive result.

There were 616 people caught speeding, 40 were fined for not wearing a seatbelt and 30 expiations were handed to drivers on their phones.

Supt Gray thanked the majority of road users for doing the right thing but said it was concerning people still continued to make poor choices.

“Drugs and driving don’t mix. Drugs reduce a driver’s mental alertness, vigilance and concentration, physical co-ordination and their ability to react quickly to what is happening on the road,” he said.

“Wearing a seat belt is one of easiest ways of protecting drivers and passengers when travelling in a vehicle. If you are involved in a serious crash, wearing a seatbelt doubles your chance of surviving”



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Local News - Victoria

Experts welcome Victoria’s new road map, but businesses voice concern


“We believe we will be able to take that important step on the 19th of October,” the Premier said at his 87th consecutive daily press conference, adding the government would wait at least three weeks between each step. “We are so close, so, so close to beating this thing.”

The announcement comes after a week in which Mr Andrews lost his fourth minister in a year with the resignation of health minister Jenny Mikakos, who quit after the Premier gave evidence to the state’s hotel quarantine inquiry saying she was responsible for the botched system that led to the state’s devastating second wave of coronavirus.

Melbourne could take a further step in the easing of restrictions on November 9, two weeks earlier than planned, when public gatherings could lift to 50 and interstate travel would almost certainly return if the 14-day average daily case number reaches zero.

Business owners and industry group heads such as the Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra criticised Victoria’s new road map as still too slow. Mr Zahra said he was “deeply concerned” non-essential retail would remain closed until at least mid-October.

“That is simply too close to Christmas trading to allow viable retail activity,” he said.

In a joint statement issued on Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Health Minister Greg Hunt said that easing restrictions was vital to get Victorians back to work and back to their normal lives.

“It will be important that more be done in the weeks ahead to safely ease more restrictions,” the statement says. “We note that at similar case levels NSW was fundamentally open while remaining Covidsafe due to a world-class contact tracing facility.

“As it stands this lockdown is already longer than that faced by residents in many cities around the world. We remain deeply concerned about the mental health impacts of a prolonged lockdown on Melbourne residents.”

The statement also says that “as many epidemiologists have encouraged, we would support Victoria in reviewing the trigger of five and zero cases with regards to the third and last steps” out of lockdown.

Epidemiologists widely supported the government’s commitment to a more nuanced approach to evaluating restrictions by focusing on the story behind each positive case.

Mr Andrews alongside new Health Minister Martin Foley on Sunday.

Mr Andrews alongside new Health Minister Martin Foley on Sunday.Credit:Scott McNaughton

The government released modelling on Sunday showing a move to a NSW-style set of restrictions on Monday would have resulted in a 41 per cent chance of a third wave within four weeks. Adopting NSW’s restrictions on September 14 – when Melbourne’s stage four was originally due to end – would have brought an 86 per cent chance of a third wave, it found.

Melbourne’s controversial curfew, which was set to be debated in a Supreme Court case from Monday, will lift but the five-kilometre limit on movement will remain in place.

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute modelling prepared for the government suggested the risk to students is probably lower than previously estimated, meaning the government will allow all primary school students to gradually return to campus from October 12 – an advancement on previous plans for only prep to grade 2 and VCE students to come back.

Aspiring Liberal MP Michelle Loielo’s case against the government’s 9pm curfew was scheduled for the Supreme Court on Monday, where she intended to argue it was disproportionate and violated Victorians’ human rights.

Three weeks after sparking controversy around the curfew by admitting it was not his idea, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Sunday announced he did not believe the curfew was proportionate.

“If you take today’s 16 cases, 15 of them are linked to known cases, clusters and outbreaks … that is a very different situation to where we have been in recent weeks,” he said.

“We always said that aged care cases would be a stubborn tail of this epidemic curve. That remains the case … and a curfew doesn’t address that transmission risk, obviously.”

Professor Sutton said the curfew would be replaced by a fine of almost $5000 for illegally gathering.

Comparatively, first-time drink-driving offenders receive a fine of up to $3200, while speeding more than 45km/h over the limit attracts an $826 fine.

Melbourne University epidemiologist Tony Blakely welcomed Sunday’s “extremely good” announcements and said it was the right time to remove the 9pm curfew.

“Given where we’re at, I think having the curfew was eroding public trust,” he said.

Epidemiologists earlier this month warned the government should not keep Melbourne under tight restrictions because of outbreaks in aged care and healthcare settings.

The Premier announced that the lifting of limits on workplaces will mean 127,000 Melburnians can return to work from Monday.

Supermarkets and food distribution centres will return to full capacity, while abattoirs – the site of multiple large outbreaks in Victoria – will increase “in line with levels we know are safe”. Sole traders doing gardening can return to work and outdoor pools will reopen from Monday. Golf courses will stay shut until at least October 19.

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Attica’s Ben Shewry x Church Road Wines


Tonight, join award-winning chef and owner of Melbourne’s Attica restaurant, Ben Shewry, Church Road Wines’ Chief Winemaker, Chris Scott, and Good Food’s National Food and Drink Writer, Callan Boys, for an evening of cooking, fine wine and entertaining conversation.

Ben will cook a Gruyere and Onion Tart, created especially for this event, and designed to pair perfectly with the selected Church Road wines that Chris will discuss. To add a little extra spice to the evening, you’ll be able to ask both Ben and Chris questions throughout the event.

This event will be live streamed here this evening at 6.30pm and is exclusive to subscribers. It will also be available to watch here on-demand after the event.

Here is the Gruyere and Onion Tart recipe Ben will cook. If you’d like to cook along with Ben on the night don’t forget to prepare the pastry and onions beforehand. Also here are the Church Road Wine tasting notes. You can still purchase the matched wines at the special price of $79.99 and they will arrive after the event.

Church Road Twin Tasting Pack – $79.99 (RRP $99.99)
– Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2018
– Church Road Grand Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2016



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