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People in Melbourne will be able to invite two adults and their dependents into their household once per day starting from midnight Wednesday, as Victoria records its second straight day of zero new Covid-19 infections.
It is the first time Victoria has recorded two consecutive days of zero new Covid-19 cases since the 5-6 March.
Following Monday’s announcement of the end of Victoria’s 15-week lockdown, and the reopening of retail and restaurants, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced new rules for in-home visitors.
From 11.59pm on Tuesday, people will be able to have two people from one other household plus their dependents (children under 18 or other dependents such as elderly people) over once per day.
Under the rule, it means you can have different visitors on different days, but you can only see one other household per day. And those visitors then cannot have other people visit them on the same day.
The visits must be within a 25km radius limit.
Andrews said it would be reviewed over time but would likely remain after more restrictions are eased on 8 November.
“I know it’s not a nice thing to say or a nice thing for anyone to acknowledge, but the place where you feel safest, your home, is actually the most dangerous environment for the spread of this virus,” he said.
Andrews stressed that under the new rules from Wednesday, people will be able to meet up in groups of 10 outdoors, with no limits on the number of households in those groups.
The premier said work was currently underway for major events in the state, with announcements on Melbourne Cup to be made on Wednesday, while the Boxing Day Test and the Australian Open were already in planning.
There are 87 active cases in Victoria, including seven among healthcare workers and four in aged care settings. There are just five people in hospital receiving care for Covid-19 and none in intensive care.
Elsewhere, New South Wales reported two new locally-acquired cases of Covid-19, and 10 in returned travellers in hotel quarantine. The two new locally-acquired cases are household contacts of previously reported cases linked to the Oran Park community cluster who have been isolating.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has in recent weeks escalated pressure on her Queensland counterpart to reopen their shared border, but on Tuesday the NSW premier borrowed some of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s reasoning for maintaining a closed border with Victoria.
“Once you ease restrictions and people start moving around again, that’s the real test, and I think the residents of NSW would expect me and my government to be responsible in how we deal with that,” Berejiklian said.
“We’ll take the border down as soon as we can but we need to see what impact the easing of restrictions in Melbourne and Victoria has before deciding when that will be.”
Andrews said Victoria would be providing NSW and South Australia with all the data required to make a decision about when to reopen the borders, and indicated it could happen for regional Victoria in the next two weeks, followed by Melbourne in early November.
“I think it’s logical that it will be regional Victorians into NSW and South Australia first before metro Melbourne, just given the different positions that country Victoria, regional Victoria, and metropolitan Melbourne are in,” he said.
“Those will come into alignment at some point, just as on 8 November, we’re pretty clear that we want to get rid of the 25km [limit] and that ring of steel as well. So, if all of Victoria can be united then, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be able to be united with NSW to the extent that people felt the need to go there.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Melbourne opens up in-home visits as Victoria records second day of zero Covid cases | Australia news