Victoria's coronavirus cases rise by four with one COVID-19 death - ABC News  10/18/2020 21:41:49 

Victoria has recorded four new coronavirus cases and one death, the state's health department says.

  • Melbourne's 14-day rolling average has fallen to 7.2
  • Epidemiologist James McCaw warns Victoria is still susceptible to outbreaks
  • Hairdressers and golf and tennis clubs have reopened today after restrictions were eased

The new cases bring the rolling 14-day average for Melbourne down to 7.2, while in regional Victoria it remains at 0.5.

The number of "mystery" cases remains at 15.

The latest fatality takes Victoria's coronavirus death toll to 817 since the pandemic began.

The Premier, Daniel Andrews, has confirmed that the death recorded overnight was that of a man in his 90s, who was in the aged care system.

All four of the new cases are in metropolitan Melbourne.

The Premier has confirmed the easing of restrictions on hospitality venues in regional Victoria won't apply in Shepparton, which is dealing with a handful of coronavirus cases.

The restrictions will remain in place in Shepparton until October 25.

Speaking before the release of today's figures, epidemiologist James McCaw from the University of Melbourne warned that Victoria was not out of the woods yet.

"We are still, by and large, fully susceptible to this virus," he said.

"A vaccine is a long way away, so even with the most compliant population that is doing everything it should, there is still a risk that we will get an outbreak."

"We have to prepare to be in this for the long haul and we certainly need to live with the virus  no-one can be locked down for years," Professor McCaw said.

A photo of golfers wearing masks at Yarra Bend golf course.
Golfers returned this morning to Yarra Bend Public Golf Course, in Melbourne's inner north-east for their first round in months.(ABC News: Dylan Anderson)

Restrictions have now eased in Melbourne and regional Victoria, which means people can now travel further and have greater freedom when it comes to social activities and exercise.

Melburnians now have no time limit on meeting family and friends outdoors, and golf and tennis clubs have reopened.

The 5 kilometre travel restriction was also extended to 25 kilometres, giving people the freedom to travel further out of their suburbs.

Hairdressers can operate again for the first time in months, and South Yarra hairdresser Joey Scandizzo opened his business at midnight.

"The phones have been going crazy so we've been trying to get everybody we can in," he said.

"As soon as the clock struck 12 we were in here, we got them all done."

A photo of hairdresser Joey Scandizzo cutting the hair of a client
South Yarra hairdresser Joey Scandizzo says customers were lining up waiting for his salon to open at midnight.(ABC News)

Some keen golfers turned up early this morning to a public golf course in Balwyn North only to find that the course did not yet have council approval to reopen.

At Yarra Bend Public Golf Course, Chris Walsh was out on the fairways before 9:00am for his first round of golf in months.

Chris says he supports many of the measures introduced by the Premier, Daniel Andrews, to try to suppress the virus, but questions why people weren't allowed to play golf.

"I just don't feel it's been necessary to have us locked down in the way that we have been locked down because the social distancing is so easy for us," he said.

"We don't have to be together and be near each other at all, we can still converse from a distance, so I'm not too happy about it."

More to come.

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