COVID-19: 29 million cases globally as restrictions ease in Regional Victoria

Burnet Institute

08 September, 2020

Restrictions have eased in Regional Victoria, but Metropolitan Melbourne remains in Stage 4 lockdown

Victoria announced 28 new cases on 17 September and 42 cases on 16 September, bringing the 14-day rolling average for Metropolitan Melbourne to 44.4.

While metropolitan Melbourne remains in Stage 4 lockdown, restrictions have eased in Regional Victoria.

There are no restrictions on reasons to leave home, and groups of ten people are permitted to meet outdoors.

Cafes, restaurants, beauty and personal care, and some outdoor entertainment venues will be able to open. Restaurants will open in a predominantly outdoor capacity, with a group limit of 10 people, and density limits.

Visitors are allowed into your home, but only from one other household, and with a limit of five visitors.

Face coverings are still mandatory in Regional Victoria, and in Metropolitan Melbourne.

The recently announced roadmap to a “COVID normal” outlines how restrictions will be eased across the state.

In Metropolitan Melbourne, Stage-4 lockdown will continue until 28 September. The curfew has been pushed back to 9pm, and exercise is now permitted for two hours, instead of one hour.

Two people, or a household, are now allowed to meet outside for up to two hours. The four reasons to leave home (exercise, essential work, shopping and providing care) remain the same. Residents must ‘stay local’, deemed to be within 5km of their home.

A social bubble has also been introduced for people living alone and single parents with children under 18, who will be able to buddy up with a nominated person. Buddies will be allowed to travel outside their 5km radius to visit one another.

Step two in metropolitan Melbourne’s roadmap to a “COVID normal” is due to take place on 28 September if the 14-day daily average caseload is between 30 and 50 per day. The eased restrictions will allow for outdoor gatherings of up to five people, from two households only.

Prep to Grade 2 students, VCE/VCAL learners and specialist schools will be able to return. Outdoor pools will open. The curfew and exercise limit will remain in place and the four essential reasons to leave home will remain the same.

The third step for metropolitan Melbourne, to commence on 26 October, or when the state’s average caseload is less than five per day, with less than five cases from an unknown source, will see the curfew and the exercise limit removed, with no restrictions on the distance you can travel from home.

Gatherings of up to 10 people outdoors will be permitted, and household bubbles will mean you can have up to five visitors, but only if they come from the same household. The rest of the school years will gradually return based on public health advice. Businesses including retail will reopen, and hospitality in venues with outdoor seating will begin.

The last step for metropolitan Melbourne on 23 November, or after 14 days with no new cases, will see public gatherings increase to 50 people, and up to 20 visitors allowed inside a home. Indoor hospitality venues will reopen with a limit of 20 people.

Visit the DHHS website for more information.

As COVID-19 cases pass 29 million across more than 200 countries, Burnet Institute researchers are releasing technical and policy briefs, and analyses of the global situation to inform governments, policymakers and the general public.

The Knowledge Hub for COVID-19 (Know-C19 Hub) is the gateway to our research findings, policy and technical reports, and also latest news about Burnet’s COVID-19 work. The Know C-19 Hub actively seeks to address gaps in knowledge and collate and provide novel strategic information on COVID-19 to inform the Australian and International response.

Read the latest updates below or visit the Know-C19 Hub page.

Global September

Read Burnet’s latest Global Analysis, which examines ongoing waves of COVID-19 and the duration of immunity to the virus.

Burnet’s response

Burnet’s public health and laboratory-based COVID-19 researchers are contributing to innovative and evidence-based solutions to the global pandemic.

Burnet Institute COVID-19 Research Projects

A snapshot of Burnet’s activities

  • Burnet is working directly with the Australian Department of Health to collate and provide rapid, data-driven technical briefs and policy options to Federal and state Chief Medical Officers across a broad range of key policy, public health and clinical responses.
  • Staff been seconded to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services providing an additional layer of expertise to support the Victorian response.
  • We are also pivoting funding from sources such as DFAT to support COVID-19 responses in Papua New Guinea and Myanmar.
  • Our internal COVID-19 Management Team is supporting activities across the Institute and finding solutions to maintain operations amid the lockdown.

Global situation

In his latest address to media, World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called upon all countries to invest in public health and primary health care.

He praised a recent announcement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who committed to €4 billion of investment in the public health system by 2026, and urged other leaders to follow suit.

“Public health is the foundation of social, economic and political stability. That means investing in population-based services for preventing, detecting and responding to disease,” Dr Tedros said.

“This will not be the last pandemic. History teaches us that outbreaks and pandemics are a fact of life. But when the next pandemic comes, the world must be ready – more ready than it was this time.”

Assessing the global COVID-19 response, Dr Tedros highlighted the fact that countries who learnt from outbreaks of SARS, MERS, measles, polio and ebola, including Cambodia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain and Vietnam, have done well in the fight against COVID-19.

“That’s why it’s vital that we all learn the lessons this pandemic is teaching us,” he said.

“Part of every country’s commitment to build back better must therefore be to invest in public health, as an investment in a healthier and safer future.”

Dr Tedros has previously urged citizens to avoid the “three Cs” - closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings. He has also said that health systems in low-and middle-income countries have been the most affected by the pandemic, citing a WHO survey of 105 countries which shows that 90% of countries have experienced disruption to their health services.

“The survey shows that up to 70% of services have been disrupted for essential services including routine immunisation, diagnosis and treatment for non-communicable diseases, family planning and contraception, treatment for mental health disorders and cancer diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

He has also warned about the potential scourge of “vaccine nationalism” and has highlighted the need for global unity to ensure a COVID-19 vaccine is accessible to everyone if and when it becomes a reality.

172 countries are engaging with the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, which has both the largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in the world.

“Vaccine nationalism only helps the virus,” he said.

(Image: WHO’s Situation Dashboard)

The WHO’s Global Situation Reports are updated daily on their website and you can also view the latest global cases via the Situation Dashboard/Map.

The world now has more than 29 million cases. On 17 September, there were 29,751,156 cases worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University in the US.

Myanmar and Papua New Guinea

There have been 3821 confirmed cases in Myanmar and 516 cases in Papua New Guinea.

Australian situation

Visit to keep in touch with the current status of Australian cases.


Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Doctor Suman Majumdar

Deputy Program Director, Health Security and Know-C19


[email protected]

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