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Thursday, February 29, 2024

World’s longest lockdown to continue says Andrews

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has ruled out easing COVID-19 restrictions as the state records another 12 cases of the virus and one death since yesterday, pushing the state 14-day rolling average to 10.

The embattled Premier says the state’s numbers are still to high to consider an easing of public health safety rules based on expert health advice.

“And if people find fault with that, well that’s fine,” he said at a press conference today.

“But the public health advice to me, from a learned team of experts, is that it is too high at the moment to open.”

Mr Andrews told reporters he had been waiting for case numbers to get below 10 a day before considering reopening the state’s flagging economy.

“Everything people have given has to count for something,” he said.

“And it will count for a lot more if we see this thing through for a few more weeks and then take safe steps when they’re safe to be taken and not taken now because we all let our frustrations get the better of us.”

Mr Andrews again dangled the October 19 carrot as the date that would see an easing of restrictions, but said “no decision had been made” on the future of the retail sector.

Melbourne’s lockdown has now been in force for 13 weeks – longer than the city of origin of the COVID-19 virus, Wuhan in China.

Later today Mr Andrews will face a vote of no confidence in his leadership. However, with the Labor party having a majority of 11 in Victoria’s lower house, the motion is unlikely to get up.

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