News digest: Melbourne’s lockdown ends, Tasmania borders reopen and more storms to hit Qld

Oct 28, 2020
Bars, restaurants and cafes have officially opened back up in Melbourne, Victoria. Source: Getty.

Today’s a good day for Melburnians as the city’s long lockdown has officially ended. From midnight last night, all retail, bars, restaurants and cafes reopened.

People from Melbourne can now also visit loved ones in their homes, however, there are limitations. Under the new rules, two adults will be able to visit another home, however, people can only have visitors once per day.

Other changes that came into effect overnight included: outdoor gatherings no longer are limited to just two households, beauty, personal services and tattooing reopened, weddings increased to a maximum of 10 guests, while funerals can now host 20 people. Outdoor community sport for under 18s and outdoor non-contact sport for adults can also recommence.

The four reasons to leave home have also been removed, however, the 25 kilometre limit on movement will remain in place, along with the metropolitan-regional border.

However, despite Victoria’s streak of zero coronavirus cases, two new cases were recorded overnight. The state also recorded two further deaths, bringing the state’s total to 819.

In other news, Tasmania announced it will be reopening its borders to people from New South Wales without quarantining from Friday next week, Nine News reports. While travellers from Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory no longer need to quarantine.

Meanwhile, speaking to the Today show Wednesday morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she’s taking a cautious approach to reopening the NSW-Victoria border.

“The real test is what happens to the virus when you ease restrictions,” she said. “When you shut down the economy, don’t allow people to move freely, people can’t socialise, it of course the virus is under control. The test is when you ease restrictions. We know that from experience in NSW.

“I don’t want the border in Victoria a day longer than it needs to be. We are keeping a watching brief and as soon as I get the health check we’ll bring down the border.”

Meanwhile, people living in southeast Queensland and northern NSW are in for another day of wild storms, with meteorologist Britt Butschke from Weatherzone telling Nine News, “Southeast is likely to be hit again today by severe thunderstorms.

“Again there’s the threat of damaging winds, flash flooding but also large hail. All this did occur yesterday but today is probably doing to be a wilder day in terms of the intensity of the thunderstorm.”

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