Pressure on Andrews over Vic virus rules

By | November 5, 2020

Victoria recorded its sixth consecutive day of no new COVID-19 cases or deaths on Tuesday, with just 20 active infections left in the state.

By comparison, NSW has reported six locally-acquired cases in the past week, with 68 COVID-positive people being treated including a patient on a ventilator in intensive care.

Premier Daniel Andrews will announce the further relaxation of restrictions on Sunday, including an end to the 25-kilometre travel radius limit and the border between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien pointed to diminishing active cases as a reason for the premier to realign rules closer to those enjoyed north of the border.

“Whether it’s weddings, whether it’s going to a pub, whether it’s sporting events, whether it’s having people over – NSW have demonstrated that they can live safely with coronavirus with very low numbers,” he told reporters.

“Victoria has got even lower numbers and yet our lives are so much more locked down.”

The Victorian government has already committed to lifting capacity limits at Melbourne hospitality venues to 40 patrons indoors – 10 per space – and 70 outdoors.

Mr O’Brien argues density limits should be based on the size of each venue rather than an “arbitrary number”.

“That is the difference for a lot of small businesses between opening and closing, between living and dying,” he said.

Aged care bore the brunt of Victoria’s devastating second wave, with over 650 of the state’s 819 deaths linked to the sector.

It is the first time since June 15 that there have been no active cases in any facility across the state.

Meanwhile, Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry will deliver its interim report on Friday, including recommendations for a quarantine program that would clear the way for international flights to the state for the first time since early July.

Australian Associated Press

Western Advocate – Health