Playgrounds open, staged return to school for some

Playgrounds, sessional kindergartens and childcares will be re-opened under a new roadmap announced by Premier Daniel Andrews today.

As predicted, Stage 4 restrictions will be extended for metropolitan Melbourne until September 28.

But from 11.59pm on September 13, there will be some key changes:

  • The curfew will be eased until 9pm
  • Exercising will be increased to 2 hours
  • Social bubbles will accomodate those who live on their own
  • 2 people will be allowed to gather outside for up to 2 hours, exercise
  • Playgrounds will re-open

There will be a staged review of restrictions on September 28, October 26 and November 23.

From 28 September, subject to the state’s average daily cases staying between 30 and 50 for 14 days before, public gatherings will be increased to five people from two households.

From October 12 children in Prep, Years 1, 2 and 11 and 12, and specialist schools will also return to school.

Childcare would also re-open from September 28 – meaning parents who don’t have a permit will be able to send their children back.

Sessional kindergartens will also re-open from October 5.

Education Minister James Merlino said the other year levels returning to face-to-face learning would be dependent on case numbers and modelling.

Mr Andrews said you can’t “run” out of restrictions.

“I want a Christmas that is as close to normal as you’d expect,” he said.

“These steps are the only way we will get to that point.”

Asked about Years 3-10, he said they were “aiming to get kids back”.