Victoria is inching closer to a much-anticipated “roadmap” out of lockdown despite an uptick in new COVID-19 cases creating a potential speedbump.
Premier Daniel Andrews will announce separate pathways for how and when Melbourne and regional Victoria will come out of respective stage four and three lockdowns on Sunday.
There is no confirmation yet that any restrictions will be eased on September 13, and Mr Andrews isn’t deviating from his pre-set timeline for unveiling the state government’s strategy.
“The time to announce what things look like in the weeks and months ahead is not today,” he told reporters on Thursday.
Potentially complicating matters is new cases rising to 113 on Thursday – the first time since Sunday that the daily tally has been above 100.
But testing numbers surged back over 17,000 on Thursday for the first time since last Saturday in a pleasing statistic for authorities.
Mr Andrews reiterated the “roadmap” could not be released as it wasn’t finished yet and needed contemporary data from the next few days.
“There is an enormous amount of modelling going on at the moment,” he said.
“Literally thousands of scenarios are run through various computers and processes, and that does take some time.”
The premier also dismissed a leaked document, indicating a Melbourne’s 8pm-5am curfew could be extended by a further fortnight, as out of date.
Victoria recorded 15 more deaths, but nine of them occurred in aged care prior to the past 24 hours.
The latest deaths took the state toll to 591 and the national figure to 678.
Meanwhile, Victoria Police has defended the arrest of a pregnant woman for allegedly inciting a planned anti-lockdown protest in regional Victoria on Saturday.
Another “Freedom Day” protest is planned at inner-Melbourne locations, including the Shrine of Remembrance, on the same day.
Australian Associated Press