Dan’s last stand

Here’s the roadmap from the ABC:

The Victorian Government has released a staged plan to ease Melbourne out of its tight coronavirus restrictions.

The plan shows stage 4 restrictions will remain in place for another two weeks, with some minor changes.

“We have to extend (restrictions), we can not open up at this time,” Mr Andrews said. “If we were to, we would lose control very, very quickly.”

Restrictions will start to ease further from September 28, moving towards a final step by late November, if the city reaches a targeted drops in coronavirus cases.

First step

This stage will begin at 11:59pm on September 13 and will see most restrictions continue, with a small number of alterations.

Residents will need to stay within 5 kilometres of their homes and will still only be able to leave home for shopping, exercise, care-giving purposes or permitted work.

The city’s night curfew will come into place at 9:00pm rather than 8:00pm, and residents will be able to exercise for up to two hours a day, up from one hour.

People living alone and single parents with children under the age of 18, will be able to nominate one visitor to their homes.

Mr Andrews said these “social bubbles” for single people were being introduced “in direct response to feedback we have had from those who have been isolated away from anyone else for a long period of time”.

He said the arrangements would be similar to how intimate partner rules work for couples living in separate homes.

“The 5-kilometre rule will not apply, but the curfew will,” Mr Andrews said.

Childcare will remain the same.

Playgrounds will reopen.

Only those on permitted lists will be able to attend schools or adult education in person.

Work, hospitality and retail restrictions will stay in place.

Some real estate activities to be allowed but auctions must remain online only.

Elective surgery decisions have not been finalised yet.

Second step

From September 28, Melbourne will move to a second stage if the city reaches an average daily case rate of 30-50 cases over the previous 14 days.

If the city does achieve this, it will still have a night-time curfew.

Residents will still have to remain within 5 kilometres of their homes and will only be allowed to leave home for the permitted four reasons.

Outdoor public gatherings of up to five people from two households will be allowed, with infants under the age of one not included in this number.

Childcare and early education will reopen.

Schools will remain in remote learning, with a phased return of onsite learning for prep to grade two, VCE and VCAL students and specialist schools in term 4.

Hospitality, retail and real estate restrictions will continue.

More workplaces will be permitted to reopen.

Construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and warehousing and postal distribution centres will all move from being heavily restricted industries to restricted industries.

That would allow 101,000 workers to return to work, Mr Andrews said.

“The way we have arrived at those industries being able to reopen is a very difficult set of judgements that weigh up the public health risk and the economic benefit,” he said.

“We believe we have struck a balance — it is not a perfect balance, there is no such thing.

“And I know there will be some industries who are disappointed that they are not on that list, but whenever you draw a line there will always be different groups on either side of it.”

Mr Andrews said outdoor pools would reopen and personal training for up to two people would be allowed, but gyms would remain closed.

Outdoor religious ceremonies will be allowed for up to five people and one religious leader.

Tourism, outdoor entertainment like amusement parks, and museums and galleries remain closed.

Third step

Melbourne can move to this stage from October 26, if the state records an average of fewer than five new daily cases and five “mystery cases” with unknown community transmission, on average over a two-week period.

There will be no curfew, and no restrictions on reasons to leave home.

There will be no limits on the number of people allowed to leave a household to go shopping.

Up to 10 people will be allowed to gather outside.

Melburnians will be able to make a social bubble with another household, allowing up to five people from that household to visit their home.

Retail will reopen, as will hairdressing, but beauty parlours and other personal care providers will remain shut.

Cafes, restaurants and bars will reopen for on-site dining, but this will mostly be outdoors, with density limits and group limits capped at 10.

Melburnians will be allowed to travel across the state, except to places with a higher level of restrictions.

People will still work from home if they can. For schools, remote learning will continue, with potential staged return to school for grades 3 to 10, based on public health advice.

There will be a staged return of outdoor non-contact sport for adults, while outdoor sports (both contact and non-contact) will resume for under 18s, with density limits.

Outdoor fitness will be capped at 10 people, and outdoor skateparks will be open.

Up to 10 people will be allowed at weddings, up to 20 at funerals, and up to 10 people at outdoor religious gatherings.

For real estate, private inspections will be available by appointment, and auctions outdoors will have gathering limits.

In terms of workplaces, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade and warehousing and postal distribution centres will open with COVID safe plans.

Meat and seafood processing will remain heavily restricted.

Indoor exercise facilities like gyms will be able to reopen but will be heavily restricted.

“Gyms are a known high-risk setting,” Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.

Supermarket and food distribution will remain restricted, as will offices.

Last step

If there are no new cases across the state for two weeks, Melbourne will move to the fourth step on November 23.

Up to 50 people will be allowed to gather outside, and up to 20 visitors will be allowed to a home.

Adult education will return on site with safety measures in place, but people will still work from home if they can.

There will be no exercise limits, and all sports will resume with spectator limits.

In hospitality, group limits will be capped at 20, with 50 seated diners allowed inside.

All retail will be open, including beauty parlours.

Real estate will be open with record-keeping and safety measures.

Weddings will be allowed to host up to 50 people, or 20 in a home.

Up to 50 people can attend a funeral, or 20 in a private residence.

Religious ceremonies like bat mitzvahs and baptisms can resume with density limits.

People will be allowed to travel across the state.

Tourism and accommodation industries will be able to reopen with restrictions.

For entertainment, there will be density limits and a staged return of events with seated spectators.

Large events will be assessed on an individual basis based on the epidemiology of the day.

Museums and galleries will open, but will be heavily restricted with patron caps in place.

COVID normal

If there are no new cases for 28 days, no active cases and “no outbreaks of concern” in other states and territories, restrictions will be relaxed further.

There will be no limits on outdoor gatherings or visitors to the home.

All students will return to school.

Workers will return to workplaces.

No restrictions on hospitality, but patrons’ records will be kept by venues.

There will be no limits on weddings and funerals.

Entertainment venues will be open.

When it comes to travel, Melburnians will still be subject to international border controls.

State borders could be closed in case of outbreaks.

All industries will be able to open with a COVID-safe plan.

This is Dan’s last stand. His, and Victoria’s, last chance to get this right. If it fails then lockdown fatigue and social disintegration will mushroom. The Government is right to be cautious.

The data caps for the lifting of stages three and four are obviously too tight and, if we’re close, then I’d expect relaxation anyway, especially the third step to ‘mostly normal’.

Caution is necessary to prevent VIC becoming Australia’s permanent leper colony but time is clearly running out for Dan’s last stand.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. The call is already going out on social media for people to just stop getting tested. No testing = no cases = no lockdown. Even some of my very lefty friends have promoted this, to my surprise.

      • BoomToBustMEMBER

        The only “fake science” is the one being promoted by those who want the lockdown to continue. Even the WHO by its own statistics says there is a mortality rate of .6% IF you catch it. This is obviously more heavily weighted to the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, so lets support them and let the rest of the world get on with life. They are locking people down that have no illness which is utterly absurd.

        I am astounded that MB writers push this as a good thing, for supposed well educated individuals who are able to analyze data and see through the bullsh!t you have certainly been taken hook line and sinker. If you cannot see through this monstrous beat up for what it really is, it certainly calls into question your ability to critically analyze other data.

          • Rupert’s Big Australia spruikers must be hating it. As long as COVID remains active in Australia’s two main cities, there’ll be no more juicing the economy with 200K new arrivals a year.

        • It’s very simple. Let it run and lots of people die resulting in private sector shut down anyway. The death rate is a sliding scale not a fixed number,

          I fully support suppression strategies so long as they are a realistic shot at avoiding this outcome.

          VIC needs to squash the virus to give it that chance.

          This is its last shot. If it comes again it’ll be wipeout.

          • Agree with you David. There can be no 3rd lockdown. And given VicHealth have bad past form they not only need time to build new contact tracing capability but also time to crawl before they are asked to run. There is no room for whoops accidents here. We are paying for VIC govt incompetence from months ago but the key thing now is to avoid another mistake that will have us paying more into 2021.

          • It isn’t worth getting in hysterics about Covid deaths unless it is making a huge uplift In all cause mortality. What you’d expect to see in super deadly pandemics and not just regular flu seasons etc.

            What is the Sweden per capita all cause mortality rate for this point in the year for 2020? How does it compare to years in the last decade? These are easy statistics to look up.

        • Totally agree. When you step back from the fear promoted on the MSM and look at what us really going on it makes no sense to any intelligent person.
          The CDC have come out and said more people are dying in the US of suicide and opioids than Covid, yet we destroy the economy, have curfews, lockdowns, closed borders and a police state because of the flu. When will people wake up!

        • @chinamanjim he’s one of the few who have been on top of this from the start exposing the lies and fear being disseminated by the MSM. A pre schooler who can do basic maths knows that the mortality rate from this is very similar to the flu and affects the same age bracket.
          However, I can tell you are happy trembling in your lounge room sucking up benefits but be aware most of your fellow citizens would like to live the rest of their lives under conditions that don’t resemble N Korea.

          • A pre schooler who can do basic Maths… ?????
            Ithink you lost the arguement and the plot about here.

        • @ boom to bust
          Agree 100%
          2 minutes on inter web reveals number wanging of figures. Preparation for covid events seemingly decades in the making… oh no call me crazy…apparently anyone who questions covid narrative is typical one per centre or tin foil hat wearing crazy folk….rational thought out the window.. shrine looked like it was under siege on Saturday but thankfully we’ll protected by inxs 500 polices soldier & special ops … sad state of affairs…cliche freedom shouting act whores on the protest payroll…a bearded dude in his mid 50’s the only arrest I saw ….mate the 70’s called they want their placard back…pathetic

      • Speaking of science, has the source code to the University of Melbourne’s Dynamic Policy Model (DPM) been published? Of course the answer is no because publishing the source code to the model would invite unwanted scrutiny from non government appointed scientists. Real science isn’t secret, it’s open, so the logical conclusion is that the Victorian government’s lockdown model isn’t science, it’s propaganda.

          • Nice try, but this is not the source code to the model hyped by Daniel Andrews.

            “Seems to work for policy test” as a commit comment “documenting” a change filled with magic numbers that have changed arbitrarily without indication as to where they came from does not inspire confidence that this kind of modelling is any more accurate than the ancient inspection of the entrails of sacrificed animals. Different priests, same magic that the plebs aren’t allowed to criticise.

          • Jeb,

            It will end up being peer reviewed research and adding to the research used around the globe, few of us would have the ability to interrogate it with any veracity without a history in behavioral psychology, epidemiology, and a host of other isms. I can guarantee it will be more sophisticated than the new england/uk research done in March which laymen sunk within a day. But I doubt by much, they’ll sell the 1000 variables, but most would have been constants prob set quite arbitrarily but thats the nature of the scant resources available and the time/experience needed. I’m no believer agent based modelling provides much more insight just a different lens, but tbh none of this makes much difference, we all know you will need cases down to single digits to manage this, you only need two superspreaders in series and you’d struggle to get it back especially with our partisan media egging on the sheep.

    • Personally i think we have advanced so much health and wealth wise and have it so good that we can no longer handle risk appropriately when it arises. A peanut butter sandwich in a playground is enough to shut down a school these days. If a pandemic with similar mortality rates struck 80 years ago, i am sure it would have been no more than background noise. We are victims of our own success.

  2. Well in the absence of acupuncture to effectively manage pain (physio doesn’t cut it for me) I’m starting my 3 rd multi day fast of lockdown this year on Tuesday. For some reason fasting does something that loosens up my muscles and just makes then feel ‘right’. 5 days of water only fasting (I’m not sure about my usual supplements, I’ll probably have to keep taking them)

    At least I’ll come out of this whole thing 5-8kg less and a whole lot healthier than I was

    • Sheesh – I won’t say lucky – hope you are okay.

      But I’ve managed to put on 7kg of lockdown conditioning. Still managed to push out a pretty quick 10k run over the weekend tho …

  3. When it is all said and done – we only ever had two options in this pandemic: elimination or let it rip (survival of the fittest). But we don’t want to accept the cost of either, so we are stuck in no man’s land.

    • Tassie TomMEMBER

      Quite correct. It’s proven too contagious for “suppression”.

      Surely it’s only a matter of time before a super-spreader in NSW makes the whole thing explode. NSW could eliminate the thing by shutting down pubs, clubs, restaurants, and gyms for a month. They could have done this two months ago – it could be gone by now.

    • Exactly……

      I think Andrews is 100% correct that if the COVID19 virus gets loose again then further lockdowns will ensue, therefore this lockdown needs to work.

      I think that Andrews is 100% correct that lifting the existing lockdown without transmission considerably reduced from where it is will only see a further spike in virus numbers.

      I completely agree with the sense that public commitment to the existing lockdown is starting to fray, and that reinstituting another lockdown down the track may prove to not be a goer.

      On the other hand I also tend to agree that the social and economic costs – jobs included – are both humungous and stretching people to breaking point.

      But the distinction within our community is this……

      On the one hand there is a very large percentage of people – certainly a majority – who do what they are asked, find the lockdown response plausible enough, and wear the hassle and the stress of whatever is required, and work on the idea that our elected politicians and authorities are working to both limit the possibility of the virus being communicated to the most at risk, and bearing in mind the economic consequences of this.

      On the other hand we have a small minority of people who assume that the government plan as embodied thus far is some sort attempt to do something – ranging from a plan to take over the world and assume dictatorial powers in the name of the elites through to some sort of policy to bankrupt business and throw people onto the streets or out of their houses – and who want to protest that.

      Now at the moment someone needs to start telling people of a couple of things.

      The first is that weighting the community response towards the ‘let it rip’ or ‘it’s only a batch of old people who are sick already who are dying of this virus, is fairly explicitly prioritising the focus on the economic cost of addressing a medical condition – all else needs to be considered in the context of the economic cost to our current economy. We live in an age where all else has been considered in the context of the same.  But that status quo is all about the 1% and the banking and finance world.  The moment that has a cardiac arrest – see 2008 – of course we could envisage trillion dollar responses.  But anything else – health, education, infrastructure, social welfare etc – ‘oh, that’s too expensive’ or ‘we don’t have the money’ or ‘nice to have but it’s a lower priority than (GDP in some guise).

      The line about the economic cost being too great to address COVID effectively is just another form of the same one which will come back next week or next month or next year – Lower taxes, and small government being the imperative of the day – which will be blame apportionment for health conditions.  Diabetics have caused their own problems (by eating too much and not getting enough exercise), lung cancer sufferers shouldn’t have smoked all those years, heart attack risks reflect individuals who didn’t choose a healthy lifestyle, etc etc etc – the economic cost of ‘carrying’ these people is completely out of proportion to ‘contribution’ they will make, and the ‘impact’ of the higher taxes will be XYZ – so someone will float the idea of simply telling these people ‘you are on your own’ – and we can mosey down the path of a US style health system.

      The other major point to make – to those noting economic costs and jobs in particular (here is looking at the Federal LNP and large Australian business in particular, but the whole political economy at state and federal level more generally, and almost all Australian business other than those businesses which either export, value add and sell into a global market, or provide services into a global market) is this.  Almost the entire Australian economy is a bubble.

      That bubble has been cultivated over the course of a generation by policy enacted by both sides of politics (though mainly conservative Federally) and it means that any experience outside that framework of that bubble entails considerable economic cost and imperils jobs.  That bubble means that there are very few Australians (let alone Australian businesses) which are in any way viable upon exposure to the ‘real world’ or any form of real ‘marketplace’.  Our people are amongst the most expensive on the planet, our energy costs are the most expensive on the planet, as are our educations costs and land costs.  This has been deliberate policy.

      That deliberate policy was based on the assumption that the world we knew less than a year ago – free capital movement, open borders, vast amounts of bullshido (not to mention fraud, corruption, and glib speciousness), ever falling interest rates and ever greater debt  – would go on forever, and that nothing would or could conceivably endanger the paradigm.

      Well COVID19 has, as a result, caught Australia (and numerous other nations) and Australians (along with many other nations, but few as spectacularly as Australians) with its economic pants around its ankles.

      In this context the ‘open up’ or ‘let it rip’ mindset is an investment in the economic palsy which most of us have experienced for more than a decade.  An investment in wage stagnation, in Population Ponzi, more debt, and the economic take going to the 1%, and Australia’s larger corporates harvesting the extra GDP demand made real by flooding the country with immigration to generate population growth.  And that has all those running a ‘civil rights’ line effectively arguing  (protesting, demonstrating) in the favour of the interests of the big end of town.

      Personally I think a better COVID 19 outcome would be governments of all levels identifying overtly that………

      Something like the above is what Australians have been through

      COVID19 has brought an end to that era

      A new range of economic policies will rapidly be put in place to address the above – and yes that will generate losers (particularly in the short term) but that extensive government support will mitigate that to some extent but that the priority in that mitigation will be people, and not assets.  So in this sense I would imagine that Australians with a mortgage on a lived in family home to the value of X (maybe 500-750k) will get better protection than property speculator types with ‘portfolios worth millions’ who are leveraged to the gills.  In the same way I would imagine that business relying on Australians to go ever deeper into debt, or harvesting demand of an ever increasing population base, may need to revisit their models, and that Australian businesses which are economically competitive and selling services or products into a global or open market will be afforded a more positive hearing by policymakers and politicians than they have had in a generation.

      If it requires a longer lockdown to sheet home to all economic actors that the old economic regime had a touch of the zombies about it, and that we need something new in an economic policy sense, then so be it.  Never let a crisis go to waste was the great NeoLiberal mantra.

      Now is the time to shove that deep into the great beneficiaries of that era.

      • Thanks Gunna, great comment.
        Your remarks about small govt. lower taxes leading to the US type health system are spot on.
        Lower taxes are the lure used to get us on that path.
        Who doesn’t want lower taxes ?
        When Govt gets small enough , of course it will not be able to run a Health system, enter the Privatised Health Provider….
        …at a cost far in excess of the taxes that would have run the Public health System.
        Tax is the price we pay for a civil society.

  4. Tassie TomMEMBER

    On the bright side, this is all a good dress rehearsal for the next virus that China manufactures and sends to the world, this time with a 50% crude mortality rate instead of 0.1%

    • The next catastrophe is already under way, in China and around the world.
      It is now unstoppable, and truth be told , we have made no effort to stop the emissions that cause it.
      It is the Climate Catastrophe, it is here now, and there will be far fewer survivors than from the Covid Virus.

  5. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Why aren’t you doing some home schooling like us plebs DLS!? Bloody slacker. 😉

    The largest spread is within the Victorian Hospital system (over 60%), due to a chronic shortage of PPE and possibly, dodgy PPE. The interesting economic question is not Dan’s timeline but why Victoria cannot supply enough PPE, despite it being a relatively cheap, commodity good.
    – How much PPE manufacturing capacity exists in Australia? (hint: Zero)
    – What manufacturing capacity would be required to have a self sufficient PPE capacity?
    – What plastics manufacturing is required?
    – What chemical precursors are needed for the plastics and how much capacity exists in Australia? (hint: very little)
    – What fabric manufacturing is required?
    – What plant needs to be imported?
    – What are the capital requirements?
    – Could the production be divided between 2 or 3 competing companies? (The Japanese, Korean and Apple model)
    – What administrative incentives are needed to keep the companies viable?

    The Canadian Government is investing $30m into a 3M facility to produce PPE. It would be prudent for the Federal and State governments to do the same. If they won’t or can’t, why not?

    The dates are pretty tight when you look at the math. Everything will have to go right.

  6. Next level of insanity

    Orders of magnitude more will die from despair/suicide (high schoolers in particularly it seems) than Covid.Most covid deaths were in Nursing homes and even then, nursing homes death rate is significantly lower than last year one !!!

    And not much will be left of the food industry (with so many bankruptcies/destroyed lifes/broken families).

  7. Geez MB I wanted a property crash too but not under these circumstances. You will be in the history books with all the other criminals when the truth finally comes out which it is trickling out already via MSM. I still cannot believe one would egg on the business collapse and suicide this is causing, I hope you too feel the effects first hand as other suffering Victorians are. I’m done with MB au revoir

  8. The pro lockdown case is built on the assumption that Covid causes higher than normal flu deaths. Evidence is coming out that many of the Covid reported deaths were asymptomatic and died with Covid rather than from it. Can MB get some statistics on those who have died because of Covid as opposed to those who have died with Covid? Also, I’m hearing from multiple sources that Vic Covid positive case numbers are largely in the medical profession rather than the general community. Can MB source stats on this?

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