Andrews to extend State of Emergency – again

Premier Daniel Andrews is planning to extend the state’s State of Emergency a second time to keep Victoria’s COVID-19 health restrictions in place until Christmas.

The Government is set to introduce the Bill in parliament today, which will allow Premier Andrews to stretch his emergency powers beyond the current 12-month limit.

The State of Emergency had been due to cease on March 15 – the Premier is proposing a nine-month extension to that date.

It allows the Government to enforce COVID-19 rules such as mask wearing, hotel quarantine and restrictions on gatherings.

“This is not about new rules,” the Premier said today.

“This is about keeping the current rules in place.”

“We can’t go to a situation where there are no rules. We have to continue to acknowledge and embrace the face that what we built is precious and has to be defended.”

News of the extended restrictions bid comes as Victoria records its 27th day with no locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases.

If successful, it will be the second time the Premier has extended the emergency powers.

“We have to extend the State of Emergency until this is over,” the Premier said.