THE Premier Daniel Andrews held off on making an announcement about reopening regional Victoria on Tuesday, September 7 but it is coming and it will open, he says.
But he seemed more preoccupied, at the morning’s briefing with rousing on the Federal Government for giving too many vaccines to NSW.
But regional Victoria did rate a mention.
Asked what time he will make an announcement on the regional lockdown, Mr Andrews said it would be later in the week.
“It’ll be later on this week, I’m not quite certain. I want to confirm now, no decision has been made, so there’ll be meetings today, tomorrow, and I think our form has been that when we’ve made a decision, we’ll announce it very soon thereafter.
“But you want the most contemporary picture and we’ve seen in recent times, given the spike in cases and how quickly that happened, that circumstances can change, but we’re on track to be able to do some easing.
“It will not be, as the Minister indicated yesterday, it’s not a snapback, it’s not Freedom Day and everything’s open at 100%, but there will be, we hope and we’re working towards being able to lift that lockdown, but there will still be restrictions in country Victoria, and we’ll make those announcements as soon as we can.
“Obviously, once you lift the lockdown, and there’s a whole lot of businesses that can reopen, there will be limitations. It won’t be, you know, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people inside, it’ll have to be more modest than that. The last thing you want is virus spreading, and then having to go back into lockdown.
“So, country Victorians have done an amazing job. All Victorians have but in keeping these numbers down, and I want to give a shout out again to the people of the Goulburn Valley, they’ve done an amazing job, under very difficult circumstances. But the numbers are low. They’re not necessarily zero, but they are low, and we think that we’ll be able to make those changes.
“But no decision has been made yet. It’ll be made, one way or the other in coming days and we’ll be sure to announce it very soon thereafter.”
Asked if the situation in Shepparton and waste water detections in Ballarat would the government look at taking some areas of the state out of the easing.
“Certainly with Shepparton we’ve still got some sort of remnants of their outbreak to deal with. We’ve moved well and surely through the day 13 testing and there’s been some small number of positives out of that but it’s in a different category and I think we’ve been very clear over the last couple of weeks that Shepparton might have to be just a little bit behind the rest of regional Victoria, and then it can catch up soon. Not hopefully weeks and weeks behind but we won’t hold back the rest of regional Victoria because of what’s happening in Shepparton.
“I’ve got no advice about Ballarat beyond that we get sewage protections in lots of different places and that’s why we call people to test anyone who’s symptomatic in those areas.
“That’s why we do all that contact tracing and talk about exposure sites and all those things in the hope that we can know ahead of time. I’ll get the most complete picture, and then you can make the best judgments, but again we’re not here today to announce what’s happening in regional Victoria. We’ll do that as soon as a decision is made and that has not been made yet.
And as a final note, no one should be planning to go to a grand final barbecue at their mates’ place.
“We’re not doing that,” said the Premier.