Dan Andrews emphasized that Victoria’s lockdown rules would be relaxed “modestly” once key thresholds are met.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed that lockdown rules in the state will be relaxed modestly once thresholds for low case numbers are met.
Andrews said a detailed plan for low case numbers that health authorities can afford to live with will be finalized by Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton on Tuesday evening.
The prime minister said he will unveil the plan to Victorians on Wednesday and once the thresholds are reached, the state can begin a “modest easing of restrictions”.
“The detailed plan will include thresholds if we cannot achieve zero despite our best efforts to limit the number of cases we can sustain,” he said.
“If we can keep cases to a certain number, here’s what we can dilute over a period of time as we all race to get vaccinated to get to 70 percent and 80 percent (vaccination).
“It has to be a low number, it can’t be in the hundreds, because it won’t be in the hundreds for a long time, and it will be racing and moving away from us.
“I want to be very clear with the people of Victoria, this is not going to be a day of freedom, it is not going to be a day of openness.
“They will be modest changes that hopefully will be meaningful in people’s lives.”
Andrews said it would provide Victorians with as much clarity as possible.
“None of us should fool ourselves into pretending we can live with Covid when we only have 35 per cent of people vaccinated,” he said.
“It will be very modest changes because there is no middle ground here, either too low numbers or too high numbers for people to be vaccinated.
“We will explain to you what these thresholds are, the low numbers we can handle, the low numbers we can live with and the mitigation we will be able to do over the coming weeks.”
Understandably, some of the rules that could be part of the “modest” easing are stadium bans, night curfews and a 5 kilometer travel limit.
The prime minister said he could not announce the plan on Tuesday because no decision had been taken yet and that the authorities would meet later in the day to sign the plan.
“It’s not over yet, far from it. When that is so, I’ll come back here tomorrow morning to take you through it,” said Mr. Andrews.
“It’s not going to be everything, and I won’t be able to answer every question, because there are some things about the Delta breed that we don’t know.”
But he emphasized that reopening the school would not be part of a modest easing of restrictions.