The lockdown will be lifted in regional Victoria TOMORROW as the state records no deaths overnight and only 42 cases of coronavirus
- Victoria recorded no deaths from the coronavirus for the first time in two months
- The 14-day new daily case average has fallen to just 52.9 for Melbourne
- Prime Minister Daniel Andrews on Monday announced a $ 290 million financing package
- He wants to turn the city into an outdoor restaurant, but the plan has been deemed unworkable
- A senior restaurant group owner said outdoor dining is only suitable for cafes
- He added that Melbourne's diverse weather conditions made alfresco dining a problem
Lockdown restrictions in regional Victoria will be lifted starting Thursday as the state recorded no COVID-19 deaths and only 42 other cases of the virus.
The 14-day average for the state for Melbourne fell to 52.9 and for regional Victoria to 3.6.
It is the first time since July 13 that the state has not recorded any deaths.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said 11 Victorians are still in intensive care, seven of whom are ventilated.
Outdoor meeting limits in regional parts of the state will be increased to 10 people starting Thursday morning at midnight – as will weddings and outdoor religious gatherings.
Funerals are allowed for 20 mourners, and regional Victorians can welcome five visitors from another nominated household.
The move comes when Andrews was heavily criticized for a $ 290 million plan to revitalize the state's crippled entertainment sector.
The under-fire prime minister on Monday unveiled a funding package designed to help the state's retailers and entertainment industries survive if COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
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Locals wearing face masks walk South Melbourne Beach on Monday. The lockdown restrictions in regional Victoria will be lifted from tomorrow
Mr Andrews said the plan would turn the city into an open-air restaurant – but the head of Melbourne's largest restaurant group has already deemed the proposal unworkable.
"The government believes this will be some kind of outdoor Disneyland for dining, but it won't work," Chris Lucas, executive director of Luca Restaurants, told Herald Sun.
“Most of the city's restaurants cannot work outdoors. Alfresco dining really only goes with cafes, not to mention Melbourne's troubled weather. & # 39;
Wes Lambert, head of the restaurant and catering industry association, said the package would help put the city's restaurants out of circulation.
"This is a generous and comprehensive package that meets calls from industry organizations such as R & CA to help businesses work outdoors," he said.
Andrews likened the recovery plan – which will put $ 100 million into a Melbourne City recovery fund to bring the city back to life – with the New York Open Restaurants initiative.
Masked hikers on South Melbourne Beach on Monday as the world's toughest coronavirus restrictions in the city were eased overnight to allow residents two hours of exercise
The program in the largest city in the United States included that sidewalks, alleys and streets were temporarily converted into dining areas.
But Mr. Lucas said up to 60 percent of New York businesses still couldn't be saved by the program.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has since indicated that regional Victoria could move on to the “third step” of its roadmap plan this week.
Computer generated imagery showed the vision of Victoria's plan to rejuvenate the hospitality sector after the city's fourth tier lockdown – but the plan has come under fire from business owners
This move, which allows people to leave their homes without restrictions and reopen the hospitality industry, is triggered when the 14-day average stays below five and no "mysterious" cases are recorded.
"It's not going to get a lot of attention," Andrews told reporters on Monday.
“It's preferable to keep people waiting for another week or so.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews leaves a press conference on Monday. The fourth tier lockdown restrictions have been eased slightly starting this week, and the curfew has been lowered to 9:00 p.m. – 5:00 a.m.
A face mask pedestrian walks past a closed Melbourne pub on Thursday. Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced that $ 100 million will be used for a Melbourne City Recovery Fund to help bring the city to life
"Hopefully tomorrow we can have very good news for regional Victoria."
According to the state government's plan, Melbourne's bars, cafes and restaurants can be open for al fresco dining from October 26th.
Melbourne will move on to the next step of reopening on September 28th when the 14-day average drops to 30-50.
The city took its first tentative steps out of the lockdown on Monday. Single or single parents were allowed to have a visitor, outdoor exercise was extended to two hours, and the curfew start time was extended by one hour to 9 p.m.