by JAMES POYNER
8th July 2020
MELBOURNE returns to Stage 3 lockdown from midnight tonight (Wednesday, July 8) for a minimum of six weeks, as authorities attempt to curb the rising numbers of Coronavirus and avoid the numbers of infections and deaths that have been seen in other parts of the world.
The rules are mostly the same as in April-May, so we should be familiar with them, but as a reminder: Stage 3 restrictions mean we return to stay-at-home orders with only four reasons to leave home:
- To buy food and other essential goods;
- for mental and physical health, safety or compassionate reasons (i.e., to give or receive care);
- for work or education;
- for daily exercise.
In accordance with Stage 3 restrictions, unless it is for one of the four purposes listed above, the maximum number of visitors (people who do not usually reside there) you can have at your property is 0 (zero).
The number of people who can meet up in public is 2 (two) i.e. yourself and one other person; there are few exceptions to this, the most common exception is groups who usually reside together — such as family groups — but if you are out walking with your family, you will not be able to meet up with a person from outside your household.
The maximum group size of two also applies to organised outdoor bootcamp activities, [EDIT: the latest Health Department Directions state this means two plus the instructor], so one-on-two personal training along the river is back on the agenda for the time being. [Note that Manningham Council has closed all of its sporting venues, both indoor and outdoor, to sports training, including boot camps]
The return to more stringent restrictions is also a big blow to local wedding venues, cafes, restaurants, hair and beauty salons and, of course grassroots sport.
Weddings are back down to the bare minimum of 5 (five), cafes and restaurants need to return to take-away only, which means from Wednesday Cocoa Moon, Now and Not Yet, Warrandyte Café and White Owl are again offering take away only.
Ember Dining will be offering its take away and essentials menu from Friday, July 10.
Unfortunately, this also puts a pause on our local pubs grand reopening and locals will have to endure another couple of months before they can have a glass of beer at the Grand Hotel.
Warrandyte Basketball Association made a decision on Monday evening to withdraw the Redbacks from a contracted EDJBA 2020 Season and have since suspended all competition and training for all three participation tiers within the club (Redbacks, Venom, Big V) until further notice.
Warrandyte Junior Football Club were excited about the restart of competition this Saturday but the 2020 YJFL 12 Round season has officially been postponed until further notice.
Term 3 is also looking a lot like Term 2, as of Monday, VCE students (Years 10, 11 and 12) will be back to face-to-face learning, whilst all other Grades have an additional week of school holidays as teachers prepare for the possibility of remote learning, once again.
With metro Melbourne locked down and escape to Regional Victoria or interstate a firm “no” for some time, it is likely — as seen previously — that families from inner Melbourne suburbs will flock to the greener fringes for their exercise, which means popular nature spots like the Warrandyte riverside, Westerfolds Park and the Main Yarra Trail are likely to be extremely busy.
What this will mean for Warrandytians is there will be cues at the cafés, bakeries and supermarkets, and the river will feel like Bourke Street.
At time of publication, there are 11 active cases of COVID-19 in Manningham and one case in Nillumbik.
Remember to adhere to the 1.5 metre physical distancing rule and to limit your risk of exposure to this extremely contagious virus.
The community of Warrandyte is a special place, with a community connected through community groups, clubs and businesses.
The next six weeks — and possibly longer – will be tough, but we are here to support each other.