Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews announced that the state of emergency will remain in place for 18 months and that limits on lock-downs would be extended after September.
Premier Andrews said the state cannot afford to lower restrictions and will extend the state of emergency to 18 months in September, giving the government the power to impose further lockdown restrictions. It is not an inevitable extension, but simply a realization that on 30 September the epidemic does not stop.
While the Public Health and Welfare Act of 2008 only allows a state of emergency to operate for six months, the premier said amendments are being made to change it.
This is to ensure that restrictions like mandatory masks and strict lock downs continue to apply across the state.
This is the legal instrument that allows rules about face masks, about safe action plans for COVID in workplaces large and small and this is the legal instrument that lies beyond the density limits in bars, cafes and restaurants.
Things like someone who is positive, someone who has this virus and is required to be isolated at home.
Under the Public Health and Welfare Act, we will not extend the status of emergency protection for more than 12 months. Andrews stated that it was about the “everyone protection” decision in Victoria to ask Parliament to extend the restrictions.
“They should be in place after September 13th. I wish it wasn’t the case. Even if there was no second wave, these rules still have to be applied,” he said.
Since there is no jurisdiction in the world it will return to absolute normality, with no restrictions on restaurants, no limits in cafes, no masks at all, and no need for isolation if you already have these.’
All those common-sense judgments they need when you get over September 13th. The law doesn’t quite say that. We want to make a change.
When no vaccine occurs within 12 months, state limitations may need to be expanded once more. We will be in a similar situation now that we will have to return to Parliament. Nobody requires five or 10 unlimited years to run forever. 12 months we think fit. This means that it can be expected.
Hope we were wrong in our expectation that this would still need rules within 12 months. Hopefully, we will have a vaccine by then. But until then, the vaccine will take time to develop, manufacture, administer, and effectiveness of the vaccine, what is the life cycle of that, does it protect you for three months, six months, here, forever, all the ideas of a booster, those things.
This is a logical extension of time and adjusts the law of the State to make sure it is the same as the problem of a state.