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Melbourne’s Stage 4 Coronavirus restrictions extended for two weeks as Chief Health Officer says ‘gyms are a high-risk setting’

Melbourne’s Stage 4 Coronavirus restrictions extended for two weeks as Chief Health Officer says ‘gyms are a high-risk setting’
September 6, 2020

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that metropolitan Melbourne's Stage 4 Coronavirus restrictions will be extended for two weeks, albeit with some changes to the two-week extension prior to a potential easing as of 28th September.

Announcing today that "we cannot open at this time" Premier Andrews did advise that, from Sunday, the curfew will be expanded to 9pm.

However, Victoria's 'roadmap' to reopeing will sees see playgrounds and outdoor pools able to reopen from 13th September under 'Second Step' measures, and periods of exercise increased to two hours per day.

The easing will allow single people to partner with one other person to visit each other while public outdoor gatherings of two people will be allowed for up to two hours, not the one hour of exercise.

Premier Andrews suggested that the easing “is (for) exercise and or spending time outside, whether it be visiting the park and so on.”

'Third Step' measures, which will apply when regional Victoria reaches less than five new cases and zero cases with unknown source, will allow outdoor contact and non-contact sport (with gathering and density limits), outdoor skateparks to open, outdoor fitness activities for up to 10 people and outdoor venues and events to commence, subject to pre-approved plans.

No early opening for 'high risk' gyms
In a blow for the fitness industry which had been lobbying to be allowed to reopen facilities, Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor, Brett Sutton advised that gyms will not open in Victoria until the last step of Coronavirus easing.

Professor Sutton advised “gyms are a known high-risk setting. They cause outbreaks. I know gyms are as keen to open as any industry and there are lots of mitigations you can try to put in place in terms of density measures and cleaning and screening, but they still cause outbreaks, they are still high-risk inherently because of the exertion that people are undergoing at the gym and the fact that it is an indoor setting.

"But boot camps are different and obviously we want to encourage those outdoor activities on those principles that it is a much, much lower risk to do anything outdoors."

Retail will open from 26th October if case markers are met, along with outdoor dining.

Regional Victoria will be eased out of Stage 3 lockdown from 11:59pm on 13th September.

Public gatherings of up to five people from a maximum of two households will be allowed.

Advising that regional Victoria was a step ahead of metropolitan Melbourne, Premier Andrews added “they essentially moved to step two and then we will reassess based on total numbers over a 14-day period.

Click here to view Victoria’s roadmap for reopening.

Image: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Related Articles

6th September 2020 - Fitness Australia challenges Victorian Chief Health Officer’s assertion that gyms ‘cause outbreaks’

3rd September 2020 - Victorian gym owners plan legal ‘class action’ to reopen gyms

1st September 2020 - Independent gym owners urge Victorian Government to allow gyms to re-open when Stage 4 restrictions conclude

30th August 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for Victorian Government to reclassify health and fitness facilities as an ‘essential service’ 

21st August 2020 - Fitness Australia secures support for exercise to be classed as an ‘essential service’ from Victorian shadow sport minister

21st August 2020 - Financial impact of Coronavirus leaves Victorian families unable to afford healthy food  

19th August 2020 - Victorian Chief Health Officer lifts restrictions on Melbourne residents driving to exercise

19th August 2020 - FITREC highlights ‘heartbreaking’ impact of Victoria’s Coronavirus lockdown

8th August 2020 - Les Mills Asia Pacific invites Victorian instructors and fitness enthusiasts to invest in themselves

6th August 2020 - Victorian alpine resorts close to visitors

2nd August 2020 - Activities halted and facilities closed as Victorian Government introduces Stage four Coronavirus lockdown in Melbourne

2nd August 2020 - Victoria Tourism Industry Council advises dedicated program of support required to survive latest lockdown

30th June 2020 - Queensland to reopen borders to all except Victorians

20th June 2020 - Victorian Government tightens Coronavirus restrictions after second wave of infections

12th June 2020 - World Health Organization advises people to wear masks in public areas

31st January 2020 - Coronavirus declared global health emergency by World Health Organization

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