The Victorian government is debating whether to allow regional Victoria to move through the second and third steps of the roadmap instantaneously.
Under the government’s current plan, as of 11.59pm on 13 September, regional Victoria will enter step 2, meaning some retail will be allowed to open, with density and other restrictions, including hairdressers.
Restaurants and cafés will, however, remain on takeaway and delivery only until step 3, due to begin on 26 October at the earliest.
At this point, hospitality will open for up to 10 patrons in outdoor settings, while all other retail businesses, except for those in personal care, other than hairdressers, will also start welcoming customers.
However, due to falling COVID cases in regions of the state, Premier Andrews has suggested regional Victoria could enter step 3 at the same time as step 2.
“The rolling average 28 August to 10 September Metro is 65.3. Regional Victoria is 4.7. So, regional Victoria is poised to take at least a step and potentially two steps,” Premier Andrews said on Friday.
“We will have more to say about that next week as we get closer to that 14-day marker.”
Asked whether he would consider reopening certain areas of regional Victoria that are performing better than others, while keeping the remaining closed, Andrews said he would like regional Victoria to move to the next step “as one unit” and not divided up.
“If you divide regional Victoria into a number of different zones, you would have to police the borders. You can’t have a situation where people from an area that is considered to be higher risk can freely travel into other areas,” the Premier said.
“Plus, the science, the data, tells you we’re on the cusp of regional Victoria being able to take that step anyway. So, this is an academic exercise.
“I’m not asking regional Victorians to wait three months or two months. We might be able to take these steps as early as next week.”
For more guidance on current rules for regional Victoria, including industry-specific information, click here.