State records 221 COVID-19 cases, restrictions to lift in regional Victoria

Aneela SiddiquiWeb Editor

08th Sep, 2021. 11:55 am

Nearly 2,000 current COVID-19 cases across the state indicates a shift away from “chasing zero.” Premier Daniel Andrews announced the decision to lift the lockdown in regional Victoria.

Restrictions will be eased in regional Victoria, with the exception of Greater Shepparton, beginning Friday morning.

The state has recorded 221 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases,  its third day in a row with figures above 200.

There will be no travel restrictions after 11:59 p.m. Thursday, and most venues and companies, including hospitality, will be free to reopen with capacity restrictions.

Regional schools will reopen for children to grade 2 and year 12 students, while all other cohorts will continue to learn remotely.

“Regional Victorians have done an amazing job and that’s why these steps are possible,” Mr Andrews said.

The Premier said he will ask the Australian Defence Force for assistance in enforcing the separation between regional areas and Melbourne.

Funerals with up to 20 people and weddings with up to ten people will be allowed under the new regional laws.

Restaurants and cafes will be able to open for seated service with caps on patrons.

Victoria announces a $1,500 one-off payment for struggling renters

Multiple people surviving coronavirus lockdowns in Victoria who are unable to pay their rent so that Victoria announces a $1,500 one-off payment for struggling renters.

After reporting 246 new locally acquired coronavirus cases, the state government announced the grant on Monday.

Tenants who pay more than 30% of their income on rent will be eligible for payments of up to $1,500, which would be given directly to landlords on their behalf, according to Housing Minister Richard Wynne.

Grants will be targeted at those who have lost at least 20 per cent of their income as a result of the pandemic, backdated to 27 May.

“We absolutely understand just how critical it is that particularly those who are vulnerable have safe, affordable and secure housing in the private rental market,” Mr Wynne told reporters on Monday.

He urged landlords to be “compassionate” toward tenants in difficult situations.

The payment will be accessible to casual workers on holiday and working visas, international students, seasonal workers, refugees, temporary protection visa holders, and New Zealand citizens.

An annual income limit of $62,860 for singles and $93,400 for couples will apply.

In addition, the government would spend $45 million to extend its accommodation programme for the homeless people through June 30, 2022.

During the pandemic, the state government accommodated approximately 2,000 homeless Victorians in hotels, with the majority moving into long-term rental homes and other housing options.



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