News Coronavirus Two post-lockdown plans for Victoria as falling virus numbers offer renewed hope

Two post-lockdown plans for Victoria as falling virus numbers offer renewed hope

Victoria will have two different looks as it emerges from the shutdowns inspired by its second COVID wave.
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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed more about his plans for the state when its coronavirus lockdowns end.

As Victoria’s daily COVID infections fell again, and its heartbreaking death toll also slumped, Mr Andrews said on Tuesday he would reveal two road maps for opening up the state.

There will be one plan for metropolitan Melbourne and a different set of rules for the rest of Victoria, where active coronavirus cases have fallen to just over 100.

“We believe that, given the low case numbers, it will be possible for us to have different settings in regional Victoria, and a different timeline and road map compared to what will be essential in metropolitan Melbourne,” Mr Andrews said.

“The challenge is different in metropolitan Melbourne than it is in regional Victoria. We will always to make sure the rules are as simple and logical as they can. That’s not easy but we’re confident we can strike that balance.”

The Premier’s double-barrelled plan for Victorians will be outlined on Sunday.

Victorian health authorities confirmed 70 more COVID infections (58 after 12 were reclassified) on Tuesday, and five deaths.

They were all women, aged from their 70s to their 90s. All were linked to aged-care outbreaks.

The fatalities take the state’s virus death toll to 570, but are far short of the record 41 reported on Monday. Many of those deaths dated from as far back as early July, and were reported by aged-care homes at the weekend.

Tuesday’s coronavirus toll is the state’s lowest since four deaths confirmed on August 15.

Australia’s COVID death toll is 657.

Tuesday’s infection figures continue a recent double-figure trend as Melbourne nears the end of its six-week shutdown to quell its deadly second wave.

“If we can drive these numbers down to the lowest possible level and then set in, lock in, a set of rules, that are as open as possible, that’s exactly what we have to achieve and that’s exactly what we will do,” Mr Andrews said.

He has already revealed some hints about plans for beyond Melbourne’s Stage 4 shutdown, and the Stage 3 restrictions in the rest of Victoria.

They include “a traffic light system” for each phase and an initial focus on industries that have been closed since the measures began on August 2.

There will also be a focus on outdoor gatherings, including workplace meetings, and a likely lingering ban on large gatherings in family homes.

The Victorian government’s plans for business, once the shutdowns end.

Alarm for NSW trains, buses

Health authorities in NSW have issued alerts for buses, trains and some of Sydney’s busiest railway stations as they confirmed 13 new COVID infections on Tuesday.

People who have subsequently tested positive to the virus passed through Sydney’s Central, Wynyard and Town Hall stations last week, prompting the alerts.

Two of Tuesday’s infections were returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

The other 11 are locally acquired and linked to known clusters. They include seven connected to the Sydney CBD outbreak, which has grown to 41 cases.

One of the new cases connected to the cluster visited the City Tattersalls gym and two worked at Reddam Early Learning Centre in Lindfield. All staff and children who attended the centre considered close contacts and directed to get tested and isolate for 14 days.

Town Hall station has been added to NSW Health’s places of concern. Photo: AAP

Of the other cases reported on Tuesday, one is linked to Liverpool Hospital and three new cases attended St Paul’s Catholic College in Greystanes.

NSW Health has also directed anyone who dined at It’s Time for Thai restaurant in Newtown on August 28 between 5-8pm to immediately get tested and self-isolate for 14 days.

Other alerts were issued for:

  • Kmart, Aldi, Coles and the food court at Warriewood Square shopping centre, 12.30-2.30pm, August 29
  • Newtown Train Station, Kings Street, Newtown, 5.10-5.20pm, August 28
  • BWS bottle shop, 123 King Street, Newtown, 5.15-5.40pm, August  28
  • Off Ya Tree clothing and body piercing store, 225 King Street, Newtow, 7.15-7.55pm, August 28
  • Rydges Camperdown hotel, 9 Missenden Road, Camperdown, 2-3.15pm, August 29
  • Blacktown to City train, August 25, departed Blacktown 6.58am, arrived Central 7.45am;
  • Blacktown to City train, August 26, departed Blacktown 6.59am, arrived Central 7.41am
  • City to Blacktown train, August 25, departed Town Hall 6:25pm, arrived Blacktown 7.18pm
  • City to Blacktown train, August 26, departed Wynyard 6:38pm, arrived Blacktown 7:35pm
  • 440 bus, August 25, departed Central Station, Eddy Ave, Stand B 7.54am; arrived Oxford Street at West St 8:05am
  • 311 bus, August 26, departed Central Station, Eddy Ave, Stand B 7:48am; arrived Darlinghurst Road at Burton St 7.58am
  • 389 bus, August 25, departed St Vincent’s Hospital, Burton Street, 4:12pm; arrived Town Hall Station, Park Street Stand J 4:23pm
  • 389 bus, August 26, departed St Vincent’s Hospital, Burton Street, 4.07pm; arrived Town Hall Station, Park Street, Stand J, 4.23pm

There are 73 coronavirus patients being treated by NSW Health. Six are in intensive care, including three on ventilators.

-with AAP