Victoria’s lockdown is expected to be lifted but a number of restrictions will remain in place to prevent another outbreak of the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant.
Premier Daniel Andrews, senior government ministers and the state’s public health team met on Monday night to make a final decision on the new restrictions.
An announcement is expected to be made before midday on Tuesday, with students set to return to school and hospitality and retail businesses to reopen.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp, who is calling for the reinstatement of JobKeeper, urged the state government to reveal their lockdown call as soon as possible for the sake of businesses.
“We need to know when are we reopening here in Victoria and what will be the restrictions,” she told Nine’s Today on Tuesday morning.
“The earlier we know that the earlier traders can prepare with their suppliers and with their teams.”
When Victoria emerged from last month’s lockdown, a number of strict restrictions were kept in place for two weeks, including a 25-kilometre travel rule, a ban on visitors at homes and strict density limits for hospitality, retail and offices.
Some businesses, including gyms and nightclubs, weren’t able to reopen.
Mr Andrews has flagged masks will likely remain compulsory in some settings, while Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters on Monday “nothing has yet been finalised”.
He said the state was “on the right track” but authorities wanted to base their decision on the most up-to-date and accurate data.
The state recorded 11 new local cases on Monday, all linked to the state’s current outbreaks of the highly infectious Delta strain.
For a second day, all new local cases were in isolation for their entire infectious period and no new exposure sites have been listed.
The statewide lockdown was called on July 15, after it emerged that a NSW removalist crew visited the state while infectious.
It was initially slated to run five days but was extended by a week to 11.59pm on Tuesday, as contact tracers struggled to chase down people before they turned positive.
Mr Foley conceded 22 new local cases over the past two days was a significant figure but said officials took comfort from none spending any time in the community.