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RING OF STEEL STRENGHTENED: Regional Victoria opens up while barrier to Melbourne tightens

    Sky News Australia – Oct 18, 2020

    The Victorian government is preparing to strengthen its ‘ring of steel’ around Melbourne in an attempt to curb Melburnians leaving to virus-safe communities as regional Victoria continues to open up.

    Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a slate of new restrictions will be eased for regional Victoria including doubling indoor venue capacity limits, and allowing families to go to each other’s homes.

    From 11:59 on Sunday evening, A maximum of two people, plus dependents will be able to visit homes once a day.

    “The bubble is gone, you can have as many different families visit you but they can only be two adults and dependents at a time per day,” the premier said.

    The capacity limits on hospitality venues in Victoria’s regions has also increased, with venues allowed to host up to 70 people in outdoor areas, and 40 people indoors.

    In light of these restrictions being eased – with Metropolitan Melbourne still under tighter limitations – the premier said the ‘ring of steel’ will remain in place.

    “It is fair to say we are strengthening it and there will be more checkpoints and more cars pulled over,” Mr Andrews said.

    “We are able to take these steps in regional Victoria – like 40 people inside a pub – because it is a lower virus community than Melbourne.

    “That will not be there forever and we will have freedom of movement within a state when it is safe to do so.

    “But that is not now, so we have to keep so only those who need to and have a lawful reason to travel to regional Victoria, can in fact do that.

    “If you don’t have a lawful reason, you have a greater chance now than at any time that you will be pulled up and asked why you are travelling to regional Victoria and if you do not have a lawful reason then there is a very substantial financial penalty, just under $5,000.”

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