Declarations of Joe Biden’s victory overshadowed yet another press conference by Daniel Andrews — not that the Victorian Premier will object.
His announcements of the latest “relaxations” of his state’s coronavirus restrictions show what ridiculous overkill they are.
Victoria currently has eight active coronavirus cases compared with 42 in New South Wales, yet draconian measures remain.
Masks are mandatory in Victoria when outside the home, as opposed to recommended when people can’t socially distance north of the Murray.
In NSW, households can receive up to 20 people at a time, with no daily limit. In Victoria, it’s two different adult visitors per day, either together or separately.
Outdoor gatherings in Victoria are capped at 10 people and 30 in NSW. Victorian hospitality venues are limited to 40 people indoors, 70 outdoors and groups per space not permitted to exceed 10. In contrast, far more sensible space limits apply in NSW of one person per four square metres indoors and one per two square metres outdoors, with groups capped at 30.
These limits are reflected in different states’ approaches to weddings and funerals. In Victoria, only 10 people can attend a wedding — and outdoors, at that — including the couple and two witnesses. To the north, it’s 150 at weddings or reception, subject to the four square metre rule. Only 20 mourners (not including infants) can attend a funeral in Victoria, as opposed to 100 indoors in NSW, again with the four square metre rule.
The self-styled events capital of the country is continuing to ban crowds at sporting events, while NSW is allowing venues to operate on a 50 per cent capacity up to a maximum of 40,000. Victorian gymheads, meanwhile, are limited to 20 people indoors (again, not including all those infant Arnie wannabees) and 50 outdoors, while the four square metre rule up to a limit of 100 applies in NSW.
Church and other religious ceremonies continue to be regarded as particular menace in Victoria. Indoor congregation number s have been lifted — to an astoundingly generous 20. Fifty other lucky souls can listen from outside.
All this, of course, is clothed in leaden, patronising prose by the Premier:
Nothing about this year has been easy.
But the hardest thing of all has been missing the people we love most.
Collectively, we’ve missed the big moments and the small.
Birthdays and barbeques. Special dinners and cups of tea.
Those things we didn’t even know we’d miss – until we realised just how precious they really were.
But we did it. Because staying apart meant keeping each other safe…
And, of course, those Twitter twats who have been celebrating the downfall of a “tyrant” in the United States have responded with a stream of #IStandWithDans and #ThankYouDans.
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