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Shopping returning and hopes high for footy restart

However, that was still well down on the average in the past year of 3042.

It wouldn’t be winter in Melbourne without footy and authorities have given a cautious green light to the AFL to proceed with plans to resume playing in June.

“There’s a chance,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told radio station 3AW.

“The move is always to try to open things up if the epidemiology allows it. We are clearly moving to lower and lower cases week on week so that is a good sign, but today is a demonstration that you can get explosive outbreaks.

“Sometimes these spill over into the community so we have to be mindful that things could change in the wrong direction over the next month but I would hope that there are possibilities for a whole number of things to restart.”

Emporium shopping centre in the city will reopen on Monday, with revised trading hours of 11am to 4pm.

Fifteen retailers will resume trading including Muji, Polo, Ralph Lauren and Chanel, with more expected in coming weeks.

Despite the positive signs, people have been warned to keep abiding by the rules that there are only four reasons to leave home. Victoria is in a state of emergency until at least May 11.

“Although we’ve had success at flattening the curve, we can’t become complacent now,” lord mayor Sally Capp said.

“Creating a false sense of security now could result in a spike in new cases, which would delay any potential easing of restrictions.”

With the Bureau of Meteorology predicting fine weather on Saturday, beachside councils have asked their residents and potential visitors to continue to stay at home. Signs will be erected to remind people to practise social distancing.

“We do tend to find the weekends are a little more problematic than the weekdays,” Port Phillip Council mayor Bernadene Voss said.

Cr Voss said most people were travelling in families or pairs but that some groups were walking too close to others.

Others were pretending to stretch when officers approached when they were clearly not in the area to exercise, she said.

Police have fined 2009 people since the restrictions were put in place, including 54 people on Thursday.

These included a birthday party in Romsey and a gathering at the Winchelsea football oval.

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