First steps towards Covid normal


Esther Lauaki

By Esther Lauaki

Brimbank is taking its first cautious and careful steps towards “Covid normal” as Victoria moves to the first step of the state government’s roadmap for reopening.

Modest changes to restrictions came into effect at 11.59pm on Sunday, enabling more social interaction and time outside.

People are now able to join one other person, or the members of their own household, outside for two hours for exercise and social interaction. The time can be split over a maximum of two sessions.

People living alone and single parents are also now allowed to have one other person in their home as part of the new social bubbles.

Playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment have reopened, libraries are able to open for contactless click and collect and the curfew now begins at 9pm.

“I’m so proud of Victorians for the way we are all working together to beat this virus – it means we can take our first safe and steady steps towards a Covid normal,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“What we’ve seen in regional Victoria should give hope to all Victorians.

“If we all play our part, we can drive numbers down and get through this together.”

Victoria’s State of Emergency and State of Disaster declarations have been renewed for another four weeks, ending at 11.59pm on October 11.

The measures give the chief health officer and Victoria Police the powers to continue to respond rapidly to the pandemic based on the latest data and public health advice.

This includes ensuring Victoria Police has the ability to enforce the directions that are slowing the spread of the virus.

Police and Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said the State of Disaster would not be in place longer than it needs to be.

“We are at a critical point right now and we have to do everything we can to hold onto the gains we’ve made, which means giving Victoria Police everything they need to enforce the chief health officer’s directions as we keep driving down cases.”

In Brimbank, the number of active cases have continued to fall in the past few weeks.

Active cases within the municipality fell by 50 (down to 151) during the week ending on Sunday.

Known outbreaks, including the Estia Aged Care Facility in Ardeer (166 cases) and the Cumberland Manor Aged Care Facility in Sunshine North (124 cases) have also slowed in growth.