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Victorian Chief Health Officer lifts restrictions on Melbourne residents driving to exercise

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

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has lifted lockdown restrictions that prevented Melbourne residents driving to exercise and fitness activities.

With Melbourne's Stage 4 Coronavirus restrictions not permitting people to drive within a 5-kilometre radius of their homes to a place to exercise, the Chief Health Officer has today undertaken to review the rules.

Having been he was questioned about the restriction at a press conference, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said he would talk to Victoria Police about relaxing the rules, commenting “we are aware that people have talked about (not being able to drive to exercise) as an unreasonable constraint

"I'm happy to talk to the Chief Commissioner of Police, Shane Patton, about what the threshold should be for that.

"I don't want anyone to feel unsafe getting to a place of exercise, if we can make revisions around the directions, if that's required."

Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services later confirmed the rule had changed, releasing a statement that advised “every Victorian must follow the directions of the Chief Health Officer - that includes taking your daily exercise at the closest practicable location within 5km of home.

"You may drive to a location such as a park or running track within your 5km radius to exercise, ensuring you are exercising for a maximum of one hour, once a day."

The Chief Health Officer's direction, which lays out the restrictions, will be updated from Friday to reflect the change, but it has already taken effect.

Under Stage 4 restrictions, people in Melbourne are only allowed to leave their homes for a maximum of one hour at a time and cannot venture outside of a 5 kilometre radius without a good reason.

The time taken to drive to an exercise venue is included in the one-hour time limit.

Image: Exercising on Melbourne's City Trail.

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