Have you been left a little confused about the different steps involved in the roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions?
Have the new rules made the path even more complicated than it initially was?
We will try and break down the current situation in regional Victoria and provide some direction as to what awaits.
For the rest of this week (up until 11.59pm on Sunday, September 13) nothing changes.
As per the last five weeks, we remain under stage three restrictions.
This means there are only four reasons for you to leave home:
As of Monday, September 14, regional Victorians will advance to what has been dubbed the "second step".
It should be noted that "steps" and "stages" are completely separate, an issue which has led to some confusion.
Under the second step there are not many changes to the average person's day-to-day life.
Among the main changes will be:
The path to the third step relies solely on science.
There are two figures we need to reach in regional Victoria to advance to the third step.
Under the third step, we will be able to live a more social life, although many businesses will still be severely affected.
Travel restrictions within regional Victoria will be eased, reasons to leave home removed and larger outdoor gatherings allowed.
The key changes include:
This is likely to be one of the main points of contention in regional Victoria.
In essence, regional Victorians will likely have to wait for metropolitan Melbourne to catch up in terms of the COVID-19 situation.
Even if there is scant evidence of COVID-19 in the regions (or none at all), it will depend on Melbourne.
In order to advance to the "last step", there will need to be no new cases throughout the whole state of Victoria.
Importantly, we will also not be able to advance before November 23.
This is likely to generate angst in the regions if there are continually cases in Melbourne but not beyond.
The last step will involve the further reopening of society.
It will also be the biggest date for businesses to be able to open their doors.
The biggest rule changes will include:
There is no date set on this yet, but it will relate strongly to the amount of virus that remains in the state.
Premier Daniel Andrews has made it no secret he wants this to be our situation for Christmas.
It seems a long way in the distance at the moment, but in order to advance to "COVID normal", there will need to be:
You can see the full regional government plan here.
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