In positive news for Australia’s continuous battle against COVID-19, two of the states will end their respective lockdowns tonight.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said that while the state’s impending exit from lockdown is good news, a lot of restrictions will remain.
From 11:59pm (AEST) tonight for a period of two weeks, Victoria’s 10-kilometre travel limit will be lifted, but no visitors will be allowed in homes.
The one-person-per-four-square-metre rule will apply to hospitality, retail and gyms, but masks will still be mandatory both indoors and outdoors.
The state’s ski fields will be open, but those heading to the snow will require a negative test to enter.
However, in bad news for those living and/or working in Wagga Wagga, Hay, Lockhart and Murrumbidgee, all four local government areas will be scrapped from the border bubble between Victoria and NSW.
“If you want to travel to Victoria from those four local government areas, you would need a permit,” Premier Andrews said.
“We’re only granting permits for those who are approved workers, and even only then when it is absolutely necessary.
“I take no pleasure in having to essentially lock out those four communities from Victoria, but there’s a refusal to lock people in Sydney into Sydney, so I have no choice but to make these changes.
“I will foreshadow with you that there will be further border changes. I’m not in a place to announce those today, but I’ll announce those as soon as we can.”
Meanwhile, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has confirmed the state will also exit lockdown as planned.
From 12:01am on Wednesday 28 July 2021, South Australia’s stay-at-home order will be lifted, meaning several changes to the current restrictions.
The density requirement for businesses will change to one person per four square metres, and only seated consumption of food and beverages will be permitted indoors and outdoors.
No singing, dancing or shisha consumption will be allowed, private gatherings will be capped at 10, and weddings and funerals will be capped at 50 (the density limit applies).
Intrastate travel and events with under 1,000 people in South Australia will be permitted, as long as density requirements are followed. Masks are also required for indoor events.
Further advice will be provided today for events with a COVID Management Plan (events with over 1,000 people).
However, there is no change to South Australia’s border bubbles at this stage.
Premier Steven Marshall said the lifting of restrictions is a step towards normality and part of a sensible pathway out.
It is expected these restrictions will be in place for one week before further easing occurs.
South Australian Tourism Commission CEO Rodney Harrex said that while it is positive news that the state’s lockdown will end, the restrictions will continue to have an impact on the tourism sector.
“The South Australian Tourism Commission is working on our own pathway out of this, and how we will entice South Australians to see SA again, as soon as it is safe to do so,” he said.
“We’re also continuing our work with organisers of our managed and sponsored events, to help get these up and running as again as quickly as possible.”