Frustrations have boiled over and Melburnians have lashed out at the Premier after he backtracked on a promise from last week to reopen today.
Victorians have lashed out at Premier Daniel Andrews after he announced today that Melbourne would see no easing of restrictions despite reaching its virus target.
Victorians took to Twitter to call the Premier’s decision to withhold the announcements a “huge kick in the guts” and “beyond a joke”.
Metropolitan Melbourne had been hopeful of further easing of restrictions on hospitality and retail, after the city’s rolling 14-day average number of virus cases fell to below five today.
But today the Premier dashed those hopes of easing restrictions, saying the government would delay any announcements, pending more test results related to an outbreak in the northern suburbs.
He said further rollbacks will not be announced until Tuesday at the earliest.
“No changes to metro restrictions. This is a huge kick in the guts after constant talk of significant announcements on Sunday. This bloody never-ending year,” 10 News reporter Emma O’Sullivan said on Twitter.
“This is beyond a joke,” 7 News journalist Joel Crean wrote on Twitter.
“On Sunday we were told 2 Nov. Wednesday we were told that would be brought forward, announced Sunday. Today the carrot is dangled again. WE ARE DONE @DanielAndrewsMP … ENOUGH!”
“Ugh dear Melbourne,” former Greens Senator Scott Ludlam wrote. “Hang in there you’re so close to beating this thing.”
Former Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos also took to Twitter, saying she was “so proud” of what Victorians had achieved — adding some thought the road map “was unachievable”.
“The set reopening is gradual safe so any delay is unnecessary. It’s paralysis in decision-making,” she said.
“We had hoped today to be able to announce that metropolitan Melbourne would take significant steps, not from today but from midweek, round retail, hospitality and a whole range of other, important next steps,” Andrews said.
“We are not in a position to do that today because we have at least 1000 test results from that Northern Metropolitan outbreak that are in the labs.
“We will get those today, probably the balance of them tomorrow, and they will be additional testing conducted throughout the day.
“This is not anything other than a cautious pause, to wait to get that important information, to get the results of those tests. Just to rule out whether there are, whether there is more virus there than we think.
“Ultimately, if we can link these cases together, if we can link different outbreaks, then we have confidence that we have contained it and we can move forward. This is not a setback.
“It is simply waiting and being led by the data, being led by the science, and following public health advice. That is what has seen these numbers go from thousands of active cases to now, 100 active cases. That is the approach that has seen us go from 700 plus cases per day to seven cases.
“This is the strategy, it is working, but it is appropriate just to be doubly sure that there is not more virus out there in the northern suburbs than we think.”
Andrews said he hoped to assess the situation once the results were returned on Monday, and would “hopefully be able to make some announcements on Tuesday”.
The Premier had earlier dampened hopes of sweeping reforms to his government’s harsh lockdowns, saying Victorians shouldn’t “bank” on all restrictions being eased during Sunday’s press conference.
“I just want to caution people from, if you like, banking that tomorrow I’m making a whole series of detailed announcements about opening up,” Andrews said.