There are very few certainties in life, but Dan Andrews in his trusty North Face jacket was one of them. Every weekend, the premier would show up to his press briefings in that bad boy, to update the people of Melbourne on the lockdown situation, and scold various COVID Karens for breaking the rules.

A few weeks ago, however, sightings of the jacket became scarce. Now, it could just be that the weather is warming up and there’s not as much need for it as there was in those chilly Melbourne winters, but nonetheless, the people were concerned.

This week, Sumeyya Ilanbey of The Age expressed what we were all thinking, and asked Dan Andrews point-blank where the bloody hell his jacket had gone. He seemed amused and mildly taken-aback by the question, and responded:

“I haven’t given it a lot of thought. If you are putting in a bid or a pitch for me to wear it some time soon I will give that due thought and we will see what comes of that. We will see what comes of that.”

For once, it seems that the premier bowed to public pressure, as today, when he fronted up to the press for the 100th day in a row, he was wearing his trusty North Face jacket once again.

Whew. We can all rest easy now, I guess.

Dan Andrews needed a moment of levity today, as the news was otherwise a little less cheerful, and he was forced to temper expectations over when and how the lockdown will wind back.

Melbourne is theoretically due to join regional Victoria on the third step of easing back restrictions on October 19, as long as:

  • The daily average number of cases in the last 14 days is less than 5 (statewide) AND,
  • There are fewer than 5 cases with an unknown source in the last 14 days (statewide total).

This will mean no restrictions on leaving home, and public gatherings of up to ten people, amongst other restrictions that will be eased.

This morning, Andrews said that the state is “very close” to achieving this target but it not quite there yet, with 14 new cases reported today. He added:

“We always want these numbers lower faster, we’ve just got to be as stubborn as this virus. We will beat this second wave, but we’ve got to do it properly.”

He indicated that “some” restrictions will lift in weeks to come, although potentially not a many as everyone had hoped for. We’ll keep you informed as to the situation as it develops.

Image: Getty Images / Darrian Traynor