Advertisement

'It's A Menu': Victoria To Ease Some 'Step-One' Restrictions From Monday

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was the first state leader to address the media after the Prime Minister announced his three-step plan, but said "frustrated Victorians" will have to wait for all restrictions to ease.

"Nothing changes today, nothing changes tomorrow, nothing changes Sunday," he said.

Andrews said several announcements will be made on Monday next week, and the government is waiting on the results of the latest wave of COVID-19 test results.

"Monday, and indeed throughout next week, I will have a series of announcements to make about changes to the rules."

Andrews said Victoria would look at the wide range of 'Step One' restrictions as a "menu", and not apply them all at once.

"If you think about the top line in that framework document that the Prime Minister has put out today, and the National Cabinet agreed to, that's a kind of menu, if you like," he said.

"And we will choose elements of that and the respective timing for the rollout of each of those elements that best suit Victoria, that best suit the unique circumstances that we face."

National

READ MORE

Raising The Barre: ScoMo's Three-Step Plan To Get Australia Off Slow Mo

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a three-step plan to get Australia back to "where we need to be as quickly as possible", with hopes most restrictions will be lifted by July.

Andrews implored Victorians to stay focused and keep abiding by the rules.

"Let's not give everything back, let's not throw away all the progress we've made by letting our frustration get the better of us," he said.

The Prime Minister met with state and territory leaders on Friday via teleconference to discuss the easing of Australia's restrictions.

Following the national cabinet meeting, Morrison revealed the three-step plan to move Australia out of the coronavirus crisis with the easing of restrictions, but warned there will undoubtedly be outbreaks and each states and territory will move at its own pace.

The government's three-stage plan to re-opening Australia. Image: Supplied.

Morrison and Andrews' language around restrictions easing was quite different.

"We've gotta get out from under the doona at some time. And if not now, well, then when? We cannot be too timid," Morrison said.

Whereas Daniels appeared more cautious and warned that there is a new normal.

"We are getting back to as close to normal as we can. The term' COVID normal' has become one we're all using."

"I want people to begin getting about their normal lives as quickly as possible, but it has to be done safely. Otherwise we'll be following some examples around the world, which have been shown not to work," he said.

Morrison acknowledged that different parts of Australia have had vastly different virus outbreaks.

"When you look at the three steps, there's some states like Western Australia where Step One has ticked the box. They're very much well advanced on that. South Australia, Northern Territory, quite similarly," Morrison told reporters on Friday.

But those on the east coast, a very different situation. They all got different starting points. The whole country has the same end point, to get to a COVID safe economy.

And while stage one will allow restaurants and cafes to open their doors, given the social distancing requirements that need to be maintained, for some businesses this will not be feasible for their operations.

Coronavirus

READ MORE

Retail Reckoning: Why Shopping Malls Will Never Be The Same

With social restrictions starting to ease, shoppers are being warned that a trip to the local shopping centre is likely to change forever, with the pandemic forcing an overdue 'retail reckoning'.

"Seated restaurants in pubs and clubs, like in other venues, can - if the states and territories choose to implement in stage one - they could start with 10 people. They may well not," Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy said.

While there was mention of a program to allow international students to be allowed in, in a closely monitored and controlled fashion by stage three, other international travel won't be allowed for some time.

"I can't see that happening any time soon. There's nothing on our radar which would see us opening up international travel in the foreseeable future," Morrison said.

The PM also said these restrictions will be reviewed every three weeks and that he hopes the country can reach stage three by July.

Morrison warned that there will be outbreaks in the weeks and months ahead, and states and territories will need to reconsider their pace of restriction easing on a case by case basis.

"These outbreaks are difficult. But you've got to move quickly and use the tools you've got available to you. Outbreaks are not a reason to slow things down. Outbreaks are going to happen. All Premiers and chief ministers understand that. And so it's how you respond to them," he said said.

On Thursday, it was revealed that another 13 cases of coronavirus were linked to a meat factory in Melbourne, taking its total to 62.

Contact the author alattouf@networkten.com.au