Geelong to exit lockdown as planned

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (Louisa Jones) 243047_06

By Luke Voogt

Geelong will exit lockdown at midnight as initially planned alongside the Surf Coast, deputy chief health officer Deb Friedman confirmed this morning.

Dr Friedman announced greater Geelong would exit the seven-day lockdown on time after health authorities recorded six new cases in that local government area yesterday.

But all six cases were linked to known cases with none resulting from an unknown source, she confirmed.

The Surf Coast Shire recorded one new case yesterday, after state government already confirmed that local government area would exit lockdown on time.

Geelong and the Surf Coast Shire will revert back to their previous restrictions at 11.59pm tonight, with the five reasons for leaving home to be removed.

Geelong and Surf Coast residents will be able to travel across regional Victoria but must have a valid reason to travel to metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire.

Under the changes restaurants, cafes retail, hairdressing, entertainment venues and community facilities will reopen with density limits and patron caps.

Businesses reopening must check the IDs of all costumers to prevent COVID-19 spreading from Melbourne to regional Victoria.

Offices can return to up to 25 per cent capacity or 10 people, whichever is greater.

Funerals will be permitted for up to 20 people and weddings up to 10 people, plus those required to conduct the service, with stricter limits for ceremonies with Melburnians attending.

Community sporting competitions remain on-hold but training and public gatherings for up to 10 people can recommence under the changes.

Home visitors are still prohibited, except for intimate partner or single-person bubble visits.

Masks will continue to be mandatory indoors and outdoors, apart from private residences, unless an exception applies.

By Tuesday 80 per cent of Victorians will have received their first dose a COVID-19 vaccine.

The milestone will trigger minor changes to restrictions in regional Victoria at 11.59pm on Tuesday with patron limits outdoors for venues to increase to a maximum of 30 people.

“We’re about to hit our first stop on the roadmap, which is a fantastic achievement – but we need to keep the momentum going,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“Today is the day to book that vaccine appointment.”

“If you’ve been putting it off or waiting to get vaccinated, don’t wait any longer,” Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“The best vaccine is the vaccine you can get today and we need to get as many Victorians vaccinated as possible to get back to the things we love.”