WANGARATTA, along with the rest of regional Victoria, will move to stage three restrictions from midnight Wednesday following Premier Daniel Andrews’ declaration of a State of Disaster from 6pm Sunday.
The upgrade, which involves a ‘stay at home’ order, means that people can only leave their home under the essential four reasons.
Flexible and remote learning will also return from Wednesday morning following a pupil free day on Tuesday – measures that will last for six weeks until September 13.
“For Regional Victoria it is with some regret but given the community transmission, the growing case numbers and the fact that we need to stay ahead of this…they will move to stage three restrictions,” Mr Andrews said.
“Restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms and a whole range of other settings will need to close from midnight next Wednesday.
“We cannot have a situation that this continues to grow and grow in regional Victoria, and then we have a situation where we perhaps bring stability and reduced numbers to metropolitan Melbourne, but we have a problem that is even larger and spreads across regional Victoria.”
He has given the three day warning to businesses, including restaurants that will need to move to a takeaway only model.
Restrictions have been broken down covering three types of industries.
Mr Andrews said businesses such as supermarkets, butchers, bakers will not be impacted and there is no need to panic buy at these retail outlets.
“A number of other industries will be reducing their total output and that will mean less people will be working less shifts and there will be less contact and seeding of this virus from workplaces back into families, from family to family and right throughout the Victorian community.
“Then there will be a third category of business and they will close – they will move exclusively to a work from home and if they can’t work from home then simply the work won’t be done.”
Further detail on workplace restrictions will be announced on Monday.
The flexible and remote learning will come into effect for all students across all schools in Victoria from Wednesday.
“In regional Victoria there will be larger numbers of students who are at school because their parents are working – that economy in the regions will be functioning at a higher level,” Mr Andrews said.
“We won’t be limiting the number of students who can come and be supervised because they can’t be supervised at home.”
Mr Andrews said the restrictions will run for six weeks versus a slower strategy discussed that would take up to six months.
“I’m not prepared to accept that (six months), days and days of hundreds of cases and more and more death,” he said.
“These are very significant steps, they’re not taken lightly and its very challenging, but it’s exactly what we have to do.”
The four reasons regional Victorians can leave their home under stage three restrictions include:
• to shop for food and essential goods or services;
• to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment;
• to exercise or for outdoor recreation; and
• for work or study, if you can’t do it from home.
Those living in metropolitan Melbourne are now under stage four restrictions.
This includes a curfew – from 8pm to 5am – the only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving.
People cannot travel more than 5km from their home in metro areas.
One person from each household in metro areas can also only leave their home to buy essential items, once a day.
People in metro areas can only exercise for one hour per day in groups no larger than two (related or non-related).
From Monday regional Victorians must wear a face covering in public.
For more information on how restrictions might affect you visit https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.