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The slow crawl back

The slow crawl back

Covid: restrictions eased, help for businesses & students

Covid restrictions have eased slightly as regions including Gippsland move to the Second Step on the state government's roadmap to recovery.

It includes the beginning of social bubbles allowing those living alone or single parents to have one other person in their home.

Up to five people are able to gather together in outdoor public places from a maximum of two households. Playgrounds can now open and religious services can be conducted outside with a maximum of five people, plus a faith leader.

Announcements about regional areas taking further steps on the Premier's roadmap are expected this week.
Such moves are based on case data and Gippsland Nationals MPs are calling on the state government to ensure accurate reporting of positive Covid-19 cases.

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The Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien and Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull have both had confirmation of cases that were reported against Wellington and East Gippsland Shires when in fact the people involved were in Melbourne and not at their home base in Gippsland at any stage of their infection.

“This has been an issue of concern for me for some time as I know a number of the cases from East Gippsland and I know they either contracted COVID-19 in hospital in Melbourne or were in Melbourne at the time, and remained there for the duration of their illness,” Mr Bull said.

“If the Government is going to make decisions based on outbreaks in certain locations, then using the registered home address of someone with COVID-19 can lead to a decision on restriction levels in certain areas being based on inaccuracies.”

Businesses in Gippsland will benefit from parts of the state government's $3 Billion business support package.

It includes $1.1 Billion in cash grants for small to medium business.

Bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels and reception centres will be helped by a $251 million Licenced Venue Fund.

Meanwhile, more secondary students will have access to school-based mental health support. The state government said it recognises the increased challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Schools including Kurnai College, Lowanna College, Traralgon College and Trafalgar High School will receive funding to recruit a mental health practitioner or social worker.

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