However, singles would be allowed one visitor to their homes and limited outdoor gatherings would be permitted from September 14 when the state starts its road to recovery.
But Premier Daniel Andrews said the draft plan was out of date.
“Sunday is the day the government will announce our road map, both for metropolitan Melbourne and different settings for regional Victoria,” Mr Andrews said at his daily press conference on Thursday morning.
“The documents that have been the subject of a lot of interest over these last few hours are out of date and have no status … It’s not a document that’s come to me, or come to cabinet.”
The Premier said more modelling on case numbers was needed before he would unveil the road maps for regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne on Sunday.
“There is an enormous amount of modelling going on at the moment,” he said.
“That does take quite some time – literally thousands of scenarios are run through various computers and processes.”
His comments came after Victoria recorded more than 100 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, following days of double-digit figures. The state reported 113 new cases and 15 more deaths.
Fourteen of the 15 deaths were connected to aged care homes, but nine occurred prior to Wednesday and were not immediately reported to the Health Department.
The state’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Allen Cheng, said the leaked blueprint was old and he had seen “dozens” of updated plans as the government reconsiders its approach.
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said the draft document bears no resemblance to the plans business leaders are working on with the state government.
Business leaders have been working with the Andrews government over the past week to develop new guidelines for easing restrictions.
“We’ve been broken up into about 10 different sector groups covering pretty much all of industry across the state – that’s the work that’s being done, it has not been finalised yet and it bears no resemblance to what was reported today,” Mr Guerra told ABC radio.
He said he has been working on a traffic light system where some businesses may be able to open much sooner with COVID-safe plans.
“I’d never seen that plan before,” he said. “It’s not what we’ve been working on this week.”
Mr Guerra said the “missing ingredient” in the plans he has seen was clarity about the average number of daily cases that would allow the government to ease harsh restrictions.
“Let’s get clarity. We’ve had enough time … we need to understand the numbers. We’ve got a new contact tracing system in place, we’re wearing masks, we’re social distancing and we’re seeing how well the other states are doing it. We should be able to do it as well.
“It shouldn’t be too much to ask that the Health Department put those measures in place. We can’t keep punching in the dark.”
According to the draft document, two people or a household would be allowed to meet outdoors and people would be allowed two hours of exercise per day which could be split into a maximum of two sessions when the stage four lockdown is slightly eased from September 14. Libraries would also be allowed to reopen for collection and delivery.
‘Stage three – plus’
It would not be until September 28 – under a lockdown level reportedly dubbed “stage three plus: stay at home” – that Melbourne’s curfew would be lifted, students would start returning to schools, childcare would reopen without permits and groups of five people from a maximum of two households would be allowed to gather outdoors.
Personal training would be allowed outdoors with two people per trainer and outdoor pools would be permitted to reopen with up to 20 people per pool.
‘Stage two restrictions’
Under the criteria the government would use to determine when to ease restrictions, Melbourne would stay under the “stage three plus” lockdown level until the state records an average of five cases per day, with no more than three mystery cases of unknown community transmission, for two weeks.
At that point, Melbourne could move to stage two restrictions, where groups of 10 people would be allowed to meet outside, non-essential retailers could reopen and hospitality could resume outdoor dine-in service. There would be no limit on the reasons residents can leave home.
The government would ask households to choose one other household to form a bubble with for the duration of stage two. Up to five visitors from the other household would be permitted at any one time, while overnight trips would be permitted only with other members of the bubble.
High-risk workplaces would be allowed to return to full capacity and restrictions on weddings and funerals would ease.
‘Stage one restrictions’
The state would only be allowed to move to stage one restrictions if no new cases were reported for two weeks.
Under a so-called “stage one: stay away” level, workers would be able to start returning to their offices if they choose to, indoor dining would be able to resume and entertainment venues such as art galleries would be permitted to reopen.
Paul is a reporter for The Age.
Michael is a state political reporter for The Age.