Victoria has hit the 80% vaccination status for all citizens aged 16 and over. As of last Friday at 6pm, people who live in the metropolitan area of Melbourne have the same priveleges and eased restrictions that regional Victorians have. All students in both metro and regional areas are back at school. There are no restrictions on movement for Melbourne folks (within Victoria). They are now free to travel to regional Victoria. We are learning to live with COVID-19. People who are not double vaccinated cannot enter many businesses and organisations. School is returning to a COVID-19 normal atmosphere. However, the last day for our year 12 students was the first day back for all other students, so it is just so hard to believe that our school year will finish in 6 weeks time. So much of this second semester was spent in remote learning!
Years 3-12 students now need to wear masks inside and initially outside. This has caused angst amongst some, including parents, but as I teach grade 3/4 most students seem to be coping with this and are far more compliant. Younger students are encouraged but not mandated to wear masks. However, since Friday the mandate is for inside the classroom only! Many of the older students are reluctant to wear masks in the appropriate manner. Often the masks do not cover the nose or mouth! They find them uncomfortable and difficult to breathe in. (as do many of us!)
Since Friday, masks only need to be worn outside for all Victorians, if in crowded places or where social distancing is not possible. If vaccination status is known, then numbers of patrons at restaurants and cafes have also increased. If status unknown, then only 10 are allowed inside a restaurant and 20 outside. The rules keep changing and it is difficult to keep up with them all.
International flights are opening up again but state borders are still closed to NSW and Victoria. However, we can travel freely to NSW and vice versa.