Restrictions remain until next week

Premier Daniel Andrews

Premier Daniel Andrews says he expects Colac and district’s lockdown to end next week.

But Mr Andrews warned that the easing wouldn’t be a full “opening up”, while timeframes and the extent of new restrictions remain unclear.

Meanwhile, changes to rules around playgrounds and in-home childcare will take effect from Friday, in a relief for families.

The Premier delivered the State Government’s roadmap out of the current hard lockdown this afternoon.

An expanded travel limit of 10 kilometres, an extra hour of exercise and increased workforce capacities for sectors including construction are among the mooted rules at hotspots like Melbourne once Victoria hits 70-per-cent first-dose vaccination coverage – currently expected on Septmeber 3.

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But regional Victorian areas with case numbers at or close to zero, including the Colac district, are set to receive an early reprieve.

Mr Andrews said he was confident regional rules could ease from next week, but is yet to confirm details of changes.

He also said the eased lockdown would likely exclude Shepparton as the town continues battling its outbreak.

Meanwhile, from 11.59pm Thursday, the State Government will lift its heavily criticised ban on playground use and in-home childcare for essential workers.

But playgrounds are only open for children under 12 with only one parent or carer, who should not remove their masks to eat or drink.

Play equipment will also have QR codes for checking in.

Babysitters will also be allowed to visit home to care for school-aged children if both parents are authorised workers.

The State Government is also set to begin a priority vaccination program from next week for year 12 students, who will sit their GATs on October 5.

But Mr Andrews said schools wouldn’t return to face-to-face learning until Term Four.

Keep an eye on the Colac Herald website and Friday’s edition for more news about lockdown restrictions.

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