"Now is the time to open up." What we just learnt from Dan Andrews' press conference.

Yesterday the press conference that so many Victorians had pinned their hopes on delivered a result of, 'we'll get back to you tomorrow', leaving the state in limbo as to what was going to happen with reopening Metropolitan and regional Melbourne. 

But, as promised, Premier Daniel Andrews returned to the stage today to address his state.

He opened with the daily number, as he has done for the entirety of his time managing this pandemic for Victoria. Here was what he reported:

  • ZERO positive test results from the batch they were waiting on in order to make this announcement
  • 91 active cases across the state
  • 0 new cases
  • 7 Victorians in hospital
  • 3 million + tests processed
  • 6 health care workers with active cases
  • 14-day average - 3.6 for metro Melbourne
  • 2 active cases in regional Victoria (Shepparton)
  • 4 active cases in aged care

Then came the news everyone was waiting for...

"With zero cases and so much testing, we are able to say that now is the time to open up."


"Now is the time to congratulate and thank every single Victorian family," Andrews explained before boldly stating: "This is not over," and that it won't be until a vaccine is here in Australia. 

"We need to take these rules seriously. There will be no bending of the rules. No finding loopholes ... because there is no 'normal', only 'COVID-normal'."

What are the new COVID rules for Melbourne and Victoria?

In short, things will be reopening again. But there will be elements that will be staggered to prevent another outbreak. So the first phase will come into play at 11:59pm on Tuesday 27th October, 2020

These are the changes that will be made for Victorians on that date:

  • All retail will open
  • Restaurants, cafes and bars will reopen with 50 people allowed to dine outdoors and 20 indoors
  • Beauty, personal services and tattooing – provided Melburnians are wearing a mask – will reopen
  • Outdoor community sport for under 18-year-olds and outdoor non-contact sport for adults will recommence
  • The 'Four Reasons' to leave home will be lifted
  • Outdoor gatherings remain at maximum of 10 people
  • Weddings will increase to maximum of 10 people
  • Funerals will increase to a maximum of 20 mourners
  • Religious gatherings indoors will have a maximum of 10 people inside plus one faith leader, and outside a maximum of 20 people plus one faith leader

Then there will be a secondary 'lifting' of COVID restrictions at 11:59pm on Sunday 8th November, 2020. This allows for a "dark opening" for elements outside of the home.

Here's what will change from the 8th November for Victorians:

  • The 25km travel limit will be removed
  • The border between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will be removed and "the state will be one again"
  • Gyms and fitness studios will open in Melbourne with a maximum of 20 people per space, one person per eight square metres
  • Restaurants, cafes and bars will move to an outdoor maximum of 70 people (one person per 2sqm) and 40 people indoors (10 people per space)
  • Religious gatherings (including weddings) will increase to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors
  • Funerals will move indoors with a maximum of 20 mourners and outdoors with allow a maximum of 50 mourners
  • Indoor community sport, non-contact sport for over 18-year-olds can recommence

This easing of restrictions will no doubt be celebrated by Victorians who have lived through 21 weeks of lockdown in order to keep the state and its citizens safe from Coronavirus.

Following the announcement, (in true Australian spirit) the first question from the press asked the Premier if he would be getting on the beers now. 

He brilliantly responded with: "I might not be drinking a beer tonight, I might go for something higher on the shelf."

Feature Image: Getty.