RURAL Councils Victoria (RCV) has written to the Victorian government calling for an easing of COVID-19 restrictions in rural and regional Victoria.

The rolling 14-day average of new cases in regional Victoria is 0.3.

There are zero cases from unknown sources in regional Victoria, RCV chair Mary-Ann Brown said today (Thursday, October 1).

“Due to the extremely low infection rate in rural and regional Victoria, RCV asks that restrictions in rural and regional areas are eased further as soon as possible,” Ms Brown said.

Bass Coast and South Gippsland Shires are members of RCV.

“We have formally requested that the easing in rural Victoria occurs at least on the same day they change in Melbourne, and much earlier if possible.

“Many parts of rural Victoria have had zero new cases for much longer than 14 days and yet have harsher than necessary restrictions imposed on their communities.”

Moving rural Victoria to the final step means that the next change would allow rural and regional areas to have:

  • Outdoor public gatherings of up to 50 people.
  • Up to 20 visitors to the home.
  • Indoor hospitality functions for up to 50 people.
  • Reopening of gyms and municipal libraries.

RCV also suggested rural-based workers be allowed to return to work – subject to density requirements and COVID-safe plans.

“It is our understanding working from home is largely required to keep people away from high-risk situations, such as public transport, lifts, escalators and other factors more relevant to Melbourne.

“RCV is committed to working collaboratively with the Victorian government and ensure that all rural Victorians can transition safely through the easing of restrictions.”