The Victorian government plans to lift the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on Thursday night, after pressure from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The Victorian government is set to lift Melbourne’s lockdown restrictions on Thursday night, 10 June, as planned after Scott Morrison called on restrictions to end “as soon as possible”.
In a recent press conference, covered by the ABC, Acting Premier James Merlino reassured Victorians the work of the state’s contact tracing team will enable further easing of restrictions in regional Victoria and a careful easing of restrictions in Melbourne.
Victoria has recorded 11 new coronavirus infections but they are all close contacts of existing cases or people in quarantine.
What’s going on?
Melbourne is set to emerge from a two-week lockdown on Thursday night, but with the outbreak relatively under control, there are calls for the state government to act even sooner.
Innes Willox from the Australian Industry Group said the prolonged Victorian lockdown seemed increasingly unnecessary and harmful, with only a handful of connected cases each day.
The prime minister also called for Victoria to reopen, particularly for parents with schoolchildren at home.
“Kids have lost enough time out of school over the course of the last 18 months and it’s very important we get those kids back to school as soon as possible,” he told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
“I am hopeful these restrictions in Victoria will be lifted as soon as possible. I would be urging that we move to lift those restrictions as soon as possible.”
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said it was a matter for the Victorian government when to lift the lockdown, but its risks and benefits were being tracked on a daily basis.
He said it was possible lockdowns may still be needed in future even with a high rate of vaccination.
“We all hope that (lockdowns) will no longer be required into the future.”
Last week the PM announced that Victorians under financial pressure from the coronavirus lockdown will be offered federal government disaster payments worth up to $500, but complex rules will apply.
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