Last week, we released our roadmap towards reopening.
Those safe, steady and sustainable steps that will see us all the way to COVID Normal.
Importantly, these steps are guided by clear targets – giving Victorians greater insight into our progress, and ensuring that when it comes to taking our next step forward, we can do so confidently.
Thanks to the efforts of every Victorian, we’ve reached our very first target.
Having reached a 14-day average of 3.6 and with no mystery cases, regional Victoria has reached the necessary “trigger point” in our roadmap – meaning our public health experts have advised that we can take this next step.
I can announce, that from 11:59pm tomorrow, regional communities will progress to the Third Step of our reopening roadmap.
Today is testament to the determination of regional Victorians. A determination to not only get these numbers low – but to keep them low.
It’s also good news for every Victorian, wherever they live.
Because it shows – in very real terms – the strategy is working. The hard work of all Victorians is paying off.
Today shows that slowly and surely, we can – we will – drive this thing down.
What that means is a number of changes to how regional Victorians live and work.
As we’ve outlined under the roadmap, “household bubbles” will now be a possibility.
That means, your household can choose one other household to be in a bubble. You can visit them in their home. They can visit you in your home – with up to a total of five visitors.
I understand some people will likely want more and sooner. But the bubble arrangement means people can begin to visit each other at home slowly, cautiously – so that if the worst were to happen, we can effectively track and trace the spread of the virus.
If you are catching up with friends and family, we encourage you to do it outside. All the latest evidence says being outdoors reduces the risk. To that end, people will be able to gather in groups of ten in outdoor public places, without a limit on the number of households.
Outdoor contact and non-contact sport will begin for regional Victorians aged 18 and under, as well as outdoor non-contact sport for adults. And there’ll be a staged return to onsite learning for all regional students in the first two weeks of Term Four.