Canberra, Oct 19 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday welcomed the easing of strict Covid-19 restrictions in Victoria, the hardest-hit state by the pandemic in the country.
On Sunday, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews had announced that the 5-km travel radius imposed on residents of Melbourne will be extended to 25 km from Monday onwards, Xinhua news agency reported.
He also said that the two-hour time limit for exercising will be scrapped and groups of 10 people will be allowed to gather outdoors.
Responding to the announcement, Morrison, Minister for Health Greg Hunt and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said they "welcome the continued and sustained reduction in Covid-19 cases in Victoria".
"It has been a very challenging time for Victor," they said in a joint statement.
"We understand the ability to now travel up to 25 km, spend more time outdoors, go to the hairdresser and greater freedom to undertake a range of outdoor activities will be important to the economic and social wellbeing of the community.
"As we said at the time, it was regrettable such tough restrictions had to be implemented. It has been to the credit of Victor that they have managed to adhere to these rules and we commend them for their commitment," the statement added.
They also renewed their call for restrictions keeping the retail and hospitality sectors closed to be lifted.
"Victoria's three-day rolling average is now below two cases per day. Maintaining this result will make a strong case for the retail and hospitality sectors to reopen before the next review date in November. This should remain under active consideration," the statement said.
"Every day Victoria remains under restrictions to get the second wave in Victoria under control comes at a heavy cost."
Of Australia overall Covid-19 infection tally of 27,391 and 904 deaths, Victoria accounts for 20,315 cases and 816 fatalities.
( With inputs from IANS )
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