Following one of the most truly ridiculous patches of mixed messaging you’re ever likely to see from an official Government source, it looks like it might now be, quite possibly, almost certainly maybe ok for people in Victoria to go visit and stay with their partners who live in a different house during the coronavirus movement restrictions. You truly wouldn’t read about it.
After NSW officials this morning sort-of confirmed that leaving the house to see or stay with a partner falls under the deeply undefined “compassionate” exemptions to the COVID-19 lockdowns, Victorian officials seemingly took a much hard-lined, opposing tact.
Initially, Premier Daniel Andrews asserted that visiting a partner or loved one who lives at a different place of residence was not allowed under the tightened social movement and gathering restrictions, stating “That’s not work. That’s not care-giving. That’s not medical care. That’s not shopping for the things you need – it does not comply with the rules so people should not do that.”
That viewpoint was further reiterated by State Police Minister Lisa Neville, who made it clear that “you cannot visit your partner for social reasons.”
You cannot visit your partner for social reasons. There are select reasons you can go to the home of your partner. They are outlined clearly in the directives of the CHO which you can find and read at: https://t.co/lZt5A46ROh
— Lisa Neville (@LisanevilleMP) March 31, 2020
A short time ago, however, it would appear that the State Government has made yet another abrupt about turn on the issue.
Faced with criticism that the hard-line approach theoretically would prevent partners and loved ones from seeing each other for months, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton flagged that an exception to the rule will be made that will allow people to see their nearest and dearest throughout this truly insane time.
Regarding ‘Stay at Home’ rules: We have no desire to penalise individuals who are staying with or meeting their partners if they don’t usually reside together. We’ll be making an exemption. Hope that helps.
— Chief Health Officer, Victoria (@VictorianCHO) April 1, 2020
And with the State Government stringently adhering to directives set by the state CHO throughout this ordeal, it now seems fairly likely that the official Government line will change tact imminently, and that you will be able to go smush bits with your significant other during the lockdown without fear of copping police fines or intervention.
So there it is. You can go see a partner in Victoria if they don’t live with you.
Until they change their minds again in about 10 minutes.