Epidemiologists consider that the coronavirus can be considered eliminated in a community when there are 28 days of no new community transmissions. Today Victoria had its 23rd day of no new community transmissions and appeared to be on track to eliminating coronavirus by the end of the week, provided the current trend continues.
As a result, the Victorian government have relaxed restrictions today, increasing the size of indoor gatherings, and relaxing the wearing of masks outside. By Christmas, we hope to be able to have family gatherings of up to thirty people to enjoy the Christmas cheer. Restrictions that have seen many people working from home will start to reduce in December. Most of the workforce should be back at the office not too far into the New Year.
A key strategy in reducing the new coronavirus case has been the ban on international passengers arrivals into Melbourne. The ban was necessary after the second wave of coronavirus infections was traced to the botched hotel quarantine. From 7th December, 1,100 international arrivals will be permitted per week to arrive in Melbourne. All arrivals will then be required to do 14 days hotel quarantine, at their own expense. Let's hope the government learns the lessons from the earlier errors in hotel quarantine, and not allow any new infections from overseas to break out into the community.
We can't be complacent. A coronavirus outbreak in Adelaide earlier this week showed how quickly things could change, and all it takes is one case to create a much bigger outbreak.
However, summer is looking a lot more promising, so to quote the Premier - "It's been a long, hard winter. Now, it's time to enjoy the sun."