The Australian state of Victoria will begin slowly lifting certain coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Sunday night as new infection numbers continue to drop, according to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
“From 11.59 p.m. Melbourne moves from Stage Four to the First Step of the roadmap for reopening, with modest changes including more social interaction and more time outside,” Andrews said in a statement.
In Melbourne, playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment will reopen, outdoor exercise time will be extended to two hours split over a maximum of two sessions, and those living alone or single parents will be allowed to have one other person in their home, according to Andrews.
Outside of Melbourne, regional Victoria will move from stage three restrictions to the second step of the roadmap, which allows up to five people from a maximum of two households to gather in outdoor public places. “Outdoor pools and playgrounds in regional Victoria will also open. And religious services can be conducted outside with a maximum of five people, plus a faith leader,” the statement said.
Victoria’s state of emergency and state of disaster, however, will be extended for four more weeks.
“The State of Emergency ensures we have all the tools we need to fight this virus – keeping all of us safe,” Andrews said.
Victoria recorded 41 new Covid-19 cases and 7 deaths on Saturday, down from its peak of 686 new daily cases in early August.