Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced changes to the state’s Covid-19 restrictions in a press conference earlier today.

While Victoria has recorded single number digits for five consecutive days, Mr Andrews said that what matters now is discerning between the quantitive and the qualitative importance of the numbers.

As much as low numbers are encouraging the Premier stressed that the story behind those numbers becomes more important. It matters how many people are getting tested, the source of the virus, where were the mystery cases before being diagnosed and who they came in contact with in the meantime.

The importance of contact tracing, timely testing and truthful accounts by Covid-19 patients are paramount, he said, adding that “we’ve had two outbreaks by people who were not telling the truth about what they did and where they were.”

“You’ve not going to get in trouble, we need you to be honest! And wear your mask properly.”

“No contact tracing in the world can work if people are not telling the truth. You need to tell us the truth. It’s like talking to your doctor. It will go no further.

“But it will allow us, it will allow us to pull this up. It will allow us to stop the spread of this virus.”

“We have had cases, where people have got a cash-in-hand job and they’re not telling the truth; people who won’t tell us where they’ve been for some reason. You don’t get in trouble for telling the truth, but when you’re not it becomes extremely difficult for doctors and teams trying to trace and prevent the virus.”

“We want numbers that achieve low and stay low. The stakes are high, I’m not doing what’s popular, in doing what’s safe,” he said.

“If we keep reaching low numbers next weekend we will open, if we don’t, we won’t.”

“We’re not looking for zero every day… there are going to be cases, and outbreaks. The point I’m making is that whether you’re the person that’s working shifts and no one knows; whether you’ve broken rules and been somewhere or with someone you shouldn’t have, tell us. You won’t get in trouble. The truth is what matters here.”

“I am confident that if everyone plays their part, we will have a sustainable plan.”

According to the roadmap to a Covid-safe Victoria here is what will be different for Victorians:

For Metropolitan Melbourne as of 11.59 on Sunday 1 November 2020

  • There will be no time limit to leave your home for exercising or socialising
  • The radius you can leave your home will extend from 5km to 25km
  • 10 people from two households can gather outside
  • Tennis, skate parks, golf and hairdressers will be back open
  • Real estate auctions will occur with a maximum of 10 people and commercial real estate inspections can occur
  • Outdoor pools can host 30 swimmers
  • Indoor pools can open up for one-on-one hydrotherapy with a health professional

Subject to being COVID-safe are:

– Non-essential outdoor home maintenance, repairs, renovations, house painting, can occur with a maximum of five workers.
– Solo or automated car washing and pool cleaning will be allowed.
– Mobile or home business pet grooming will be allowed.
– Outdoor photography will be allowed.
– Allied health services making a full return.

For Regional Victoria as of 11.59 tonight, Sunday 18 October 2020

  • Two people plus dependants are allowed into the home. The bubble is gone, you can have as many different families visit you but they can only be two adults and dependants at a time per day
  •  Hospitality venues can increase their capacity to 70 people outside and 40 people inside
  • Four groups of 10, instead of two groups of 10
  • Outdoor religious gatherings will increase to 20 people
  • Indoor pools will open for 18 and under, a maximum of 20 swimmers
  • One-on-one hydrotherapy with health professionals will also be allowed
  • Libraries, toy libraries will open again, a maximum of 20 people
  • Households can visit a care facility rather than one person at a time

For metropolitan Melbourne as of 11.59 on Sunday 1 November 2020

  • The four reasons to leave home will be removed
  • A maximum of two people plus dependents, once-a-day, will be able to visit homes. Not a bubble, not an exclusive arrangement, but essentially one family, two adults and children, to your home, once-a-day. No more often than that
  •  Retail will open back up
  • Hospitality, a maximum of 20 people inside and 50 people outside, will reopen
  • Beauty and personal services will return
  • Contact sport for under 18-year-olds and non-contact for adults will recommence. A maximum of 20 people will be allowed for outdoor religious gatherings
  •  A maximum of 10 people will be allowed at weddings
  • A maximum of 20 mourners at funerals
  • Outdoor seated entertainment can host a maximum of 50 people or 25 per cent of the venue’s fixed seat capacity

Also read: My Life in Lockdown: Q&A with George Kapiniaris