NSW and QLD residents rejoice! Coronavirus restrictions are set to ease even further over the next few weeks! If you’re like me, however, this isn’t necessarily cause for celebration, especially given the situation in VIC.
For those of you who live in NSW, from today there are a number of restrictions that are being relaxed.
These include: the resuming of community sport; indoor venues, such as restaurants and bars, now just have to adhere to four square metre rule; funerals also no longer restricted and just have to adhere to four square metre rule; household gatherings remain at 20; stadiums will be allowed 25% of their capacity; and cinemas will be reopening from tomorrow.
As for public transport in NSW, buses can now use two doors and hold 23 passengers; trains can hold 68 passengers; and ferries can hold 250 passengers. You’ll just have to leave an empty seat between passengers, and look out for the green dot on the seats.
But while this is happening, residents in Victoria are getting ready to bunker down once again.
VIC Entering Coronavirus Lockdown Once Again, Kinda
— Andrew Whitelaw (@WheatWatcher) June 30, 2020
Starting from 11:59pm tonight, residents in 36 Victorian suburbs will have stay at home orders enforced once again. For those living in postcode 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060, and 3064, you’ll be restricted to your home until at least 29 July.
You must stay at home unless you’re shopping for essentials; for care/caregiving; daily exercise; and study or work if you can’t do so from home.
The businesses that have been allowed to reopen in these suburbs, such as cafes, restaurants, nail and beauty salons, etc., must close again.
The part of this second round of lockdowns that I don’t understand is that only 10 postcodes are subjected to it. These are the ‘hotspots’ for coronavirus, apparently. But how will these stay at home orders be enforced?
Increased police presence, of course. Yippee.
Excessive Police Presence Isn’t Necessarily The Answer
Breaking: Today: Morrison wants “hotspot” (sic) Melbourne suburbs shutdown.
Breaking: Two weeks ago: Morrison wants us out from under the doona, borders open, kids in schools, back to work, chips Dan for being too resistant to ending lockdown.
— Metta Bhavana, Diarist Of The Plague Year (@MettaBhavana1) June 30, 2020
At a time when excessive police presence and force is being called out and condemned by the public, relying on this force to keep people at home isn’t the way to go. This police presence will come in the form of police patrolling through communities and dishing out on-the-spot fines for people breaching stay at home orders. Police will also be creating boarders between suburbs too.
Don’t get me wrong, having another lockdown is probably the best way to go to restrict the movement of the virus. And I understand that only certain suburbs have been placed into lockdown again because to lockdown the entire state would be detrimental to the economy. But it’s very likely that increased police presence could lead to things going very badly.
A number of people on Facebook share this concern, with one user posting “how will they regulate this without a heavy police presence in suburbs heavily populated by migrants, refugees and non-English speaking residents? I see this ending badly.”
Other users are arguing that these lockdown orders are confusing, as some people will have to leave these restricted areas to go to work. They also argue that only locking down certain suburbs won’t stop the spread of coronavirus.
Only time will tell whether this partial lockdown of the state will actually work, and whether we’ll see a rise in reports of excessive police force. One thing is for certain, though. Our Federal Government has tried to pull the country out of lockdown too soon.
They’ve tried to force the QLD Government to open its borders to the rest of the country; allowed schools to reopen, only to have a number of them close due to confirmed coronavirus cases in children. The list could go on. We’ve been rushed to return to normal when we don’t even fully understand this virus yet. It’s a global pandemic, this isn’t something we can just ignore.
Image Source: Unsplash (Weyne Yew @blurblock07)