MILDURA schools remain in limbo as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews did not outline details around the expected staged return of face-to-face learning today.
While Mr Andrews did announce some minor easing of COVID-19 restrictions, he said the government was not yet in a position to make a statement on schools.
The Premier did say students would be expected back in the classroom before the end of Term Two, but provided no further clarity as to a time frame, again going against what is occurring in other states across the country where students are returning.
"We now believe a gradual staged return to face-to-face learning is safe, cautious and appropriate given the testing we have done and the circumstances we face," Mr Andrews said.
And in keeping in line with his hard-line approach to restrictions in Victoria, pubs, cafes and restaurants are also to remain closed to patrons, with only takeaway services available until at least the end of May.
Mildura remains on zero active coronavirus cases and has not had a new case recorded for more than a month.
In some minor easing of restrictions, the state government announced a fifth reason to leave home on Monday.
On the day after Mother's Day, Mr Andrews announced Victorians will be able to have five family and friends in their home from 11.59pm on Tuesday, with the easing back of some COVID-19 restrictions in place until May 31.
"They should be family and friends, after all, that are the people that mean the most to us and that's where it's hurt; people not being able to connect with the people that are most important to them," Mr Andrews said.
But it's not an open invitation to host dinner parties every night, he warned.
"This is far from over. This is an opportunity for a first step that is safe, cautious and appropropriate," Mr Andrews said.
Gatherings of 10 people outdoors will also be allowed as long as social distancing is observed.The premier's beloved game of golf, walking groups, fishing and hiking are among the outdoor activities back on the list of allowed activities.Professional sport teams including AFL and rugby league will be able to get back to training from just before midnight on Tuesday."Training resuming paves the way for footy to be back," he said.
The Premier also said Victorians should continue to work from home where possible.
Up to 10 guests can attend a wedding along with the bride and groom, and celebrant, while indoor funerals can host up to 20 people plus those needed to run the service.
The change in restrictions will remain in place until 11.59pm on May 31, with the renewed state of emergency.
The state recorded another seven coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing Victoria's total to 1494.
More than 161,000 Victorians have been tested for COVID-19 as part of a testing blitz in the past fortnight, with data gathered used to help decide how and when to ease restrictions.
The government has set its sights on performing another 150,000 tests by the end of May.