• Loddon Herald

Rural curbs to ease

COVID restrictions will ease in country Vic- toria from midnight.

Businesses can open their doors after a week of closure and outdoor public gatherings of 10 people will be allowed.

Schools return but visits to the home are still prohibited.

Junior sport matches can resume while adults can return to training only, libraries can re-open. Country people can only travel to Melbourne with a valid reason but Melburnians cannot travel to the country until at least after the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Masks are still be be worn outdoors..

Yesterday afternoon’s announcement came as Loddon businesses are counting the cost of lockdown.

Caravan parks and accommodation across the region had been left near empty, apart from a few campers deciding to stay put or workers engaged in local towns. Hotels and cafes had reverted to take-away menus or closed.

While community transmission case numbers continue to rise and people are being urged to be tested and have the vaccine, Bendigo Health has no plans to resume mobile testing in Loddon communities.

A Bendigo Health spokesperson said: “Bendigo Health is currently providing COVID-19 screening in Bendigo and last week visited Cohuna. These regions were our focus over the past week as they had a number of exposure sites listed. At the present time we are testing in communities with exposure sites and where there is high demand.

Victoria Hotel Pyramid Hill owner Paul Carter is critical of the latest lockdown.

“I can’t see how this is the answer whenever there’s a breakout of infections. Locking down the entire state?

“We will be living with this flu bug for many years to come if not forever,” he said.

A host of local events scheduled for last weekend were either cancelled or postponed,

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