The Australia city of Melbourne will begin easing lockdown measures at midnight on Monday local time as the city continues to see a drop in coronavirus cases and deaths.
“Seven weeks ago, our average case numbers were peaking at more than 400 every single day. Today, Melbourne’s rolling case average is 22.1. It’s a remarkable thing -- and an achievement that belongs to every single Victorian,” State Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement Sunday.
“Thanks to those efforts, and on the advice of our public health team, I can confirm that from 11:59 p.m. tonight (Sunday), Melbourne will enter the Second Step towards reopening,” Andrews said.
What are the changes:
- Under the Second Step, metropolitan Melbourne’s curfew will lift from 5 a.m. Monday.
- Public gatherings between two households can also take place outdoors for social interactions so long as the group does not exceed five people.
- Outdoor pools and childcare centers will also be reopened.
Back to work:
- Under the Second Step of reopening, 127,000 people will be able to go back to work, according to the Premier.
- All workers at food distribution centers and supermarkets will be allowed to return to work at full capacity.
- Workers at abattoirs (slaughterhouses), seafood, and meat processing plants will also be increased.
Despite the easing of restrictions, Premier Andrews said “none of these changes though are a sign we can take our foot off the pedal,” and he emphasized that people should continue to wear face coverings across the city.
On Sunday the state of Victoria reported just 16 new coronavirus cases and two new deaths.