Tag Archives: Stage 3

Situation: Isolation

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.

Stay safe.

The first of many tentative steps

VICTORIAN PREMIER Daniel Andrews today announced some restrictions would be eased as of 11:59pm on Tuesday, May 12.
Following a National Cabinet meeting on Friday and a COVID-19 testing blitz which recorded 160,000 COVID-19 tests in two weeks, the Premier outlined the beginning of the road to a state of “COVID normal”.

“Today – thanks to the efforts of Victorians – I can announce our cautious next steps,” said Mr Andrews.

The Premier went on to say: “from 11:59pm this Tuesday night, there’s now a fifth reason to leave home: visiting friends and family — with a maximum gathering of up to 10 outdoors and having up to five visitors in your home.

“I know this will come as a welcome relief, but I need to be clear — although these are our first steps back towards normalcy — they are not an invitation to host a dinner party every night of the week.
“It’s not about having a rotating roster of acquaintances and associates — or your third best friend from primary school — over for a visit.
“This is about seeing those you need to — if you need to.”

These modified restrictions will be in effect until at least Sunday, May 31, with the State of Emergency being extended until that time.
Under the new restrictions, the following can occur:

  • Outdoor gathers of up to 10 people.
  • Indoor gatherings at home are permitted, with up to five people allowed to visit another household.
  • The ability to leave the house for exercise will be expanded to include outdoor recreational activities.
    These activities can occur in groups of up to 10 people outside, but the requirements on physical distancing remain.
  • 10 guests, plus the couple and the celebrant can now attend weddings.
  • For funerals, 20 people will be allowed at an indoor ceremony and 30 people at an outside ceremony.
    This is in addition to the minimum people required to conduct the funeral.
  • Religious gatherings and ceremonies will be permitted with up to 10 people, plus those required to perform the ceremony

There is also light at the end of the tunnel for grassroots sport.
The measures allow training to take place, with groups of no more than 10 — as long as physical distancing measures and “common sense” are adhered to.
Many clubs will now be waiting for an update from their respective governing bodies before announcing a restart of some sort of training regime.

However, the Premier made it very clear that competition was still off the table.
For many, the way of life in which they have adapted to in the past two months will continue to be the normal for the time being.
With fresh outbreaks in South Korea and Germany, and news from overseas showing huge opposition to the easing of restrictions and change of messaging in the United Kingdom, this pandemic is far from over.
With restrictions easing, it is even more important to be vigilant and practice good hygiene and physical distancing, a sentiment summarised by the Premier in this morning’s statement to the press.

“With more freedom comes more responsibility.
“I’m asking Victorians to use common sense — you should only spend time together if it’s safe.
“And you should only be undertaking these activities if you really need to.
“If it’s integral to your health and wellbeing.
“Use your judgement and think about the health of your fellow Victorians, because right now, staying apart is what’s keeping us together.
“And none of us want to squander everything we’ve achieved, none of us want to have to take a backwards step,” he said.

The State Government reiterated its message that if you can stay home, you should and if you have any symptoms, if you feel unwell in any way, go and get tested.
Drive thru testing clinics will continue to operate at major metropolitan shopping centres which include Eastland in Ringwood and Doncaster Shopping Town.
The Diary will continue to monitor the situation and provide an update in its mid-month bulletin, which will be published on Monday, May 18.

Back to school by June

On Tuesday, May 12, the Premier. Daniel Andrews outlined the plan to move away from remote learning, with Preps, Grades 1 and 2 and Years 11 and 12 scheduled to return to the classroom on May 26.
My Andrews recognised the challenges families had faced and thanked them for following the rules.

“As a father of three kids who have been learning from home, I know this has been a really challenging time for many families but thanks to everyone’s efforts in sticking to the rules and getting tested, we’re now able to start getting our kids back into the classroom.
“Having most of our kids learning from home has made a big contribution to limiting the number of people moving around the community and reduced the spread of the virus,” he said.

Following a pupil free day on Monday, May 25, the shift back to school grounds will begin
Students through Years 3 to 10 will continue to learn remotely until June 9, giving the government and health officials time to evaluate the return to school and to make decisions on how to proceed.
Starting today, all Victorian school staff will be prioritised for voluntary Coronavirus testing for a two-week period from both mobile and fixed testing sites.
This will enable school staff to seek testing during the preparation period before the return to on-site schooling.
Schools will be encouraged to implement a staggered drop-off system to reduce the number of adults congregating outside the school at any one time, as well as staggered break times to manage the number of students mixing across year levels.
Schools will also implement social distancing measures for all adults.
The strict health protocols that are already in place will be followed if a member of the school community tests positive for Coronavirus.
To keep the spread of the virus at bay, the Government is also investing $45m in enhanced, daily cleaning routines that will occur “every day, at every school across the state for all of Term 2 and Term 3”.

Heavy fines for breaching restrictions

PEOPLE ACROSS the State are waking up to the new reality of even tougher physical distancing restrictions.

Stage 3 restrictions came into effect at 11:59pm on Monday, March 30.

In a statement issued on Monday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews explained the reasons for the new restrictions.

“My message to every Victorian is that there are only four reasons to leave your home: food and supplies, medical care, exercise, and work or education.

“Most Victorians are doing the right thing and I’m grateful to them.

“But we continue to see instances of people gathering in significant numbers so we must do more.

“That’s why we are also restricting gatherings to no more than two people except for members of your immediate household and for work or education.

“We will not be breaking up household family dinners — but BBQs with the neighbours cannot happen anymore.

“Playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms will also close.”

The new restrictions mean, outside of the people you live with in your household, you are not allowed to mass, socially, as a group of more than two people.

Victoria Police has been given the authority to issue on the spot fines to anyone breaking the restrictions with individuals facing a fine of $1,652 and businesses $9,913 who breach this or any of the restrictions currently in place.

The roll out of restrictions has been complex with the restrictions targeting specific businesses and activities.

It is still okay to go to work, if you are able to and if you are able to comply with physical distancing rules, it is still okay to go shopping to buy essential supplies, it is still okay to leave the house (if you are not unwell or under quarantine) for daily exercise, but government and health officials at every level are reinforcing the message that if you do not need to leave your house, you should not.

The Diary would also like to reflect this message.

The staff and volunteers at the Diary are limiting their physical presence in the community, but that does not mean we are not still here working to keep you informed, engaged and entertained.

If you have something to tell the community, and to tell history, the Diary is a time capsule that will tell the story of how we got through this together.

Send your stories to the Editor and look out for the next Diary, which will be going to print next week.

To combat the spread of COVID-19 and to help sustain our local economy it is imperative we all respect the advice from government and minimise our movements to those which are deemed essential (food, health, and work).

To keep up to date on the latest developments, the Federal Government has released an app on the Apple App Store and on Google Play as well as set up a What’s App bot to help members of the community access the most relevant details regarding this pandemic.

The app is a straightforward and simple way to get the information they need to keep informed and is readily accessible from their smartphone and, like the Vic Emergency app, should be part of everyone’s app arsenal.