The Victoria government reportedly held focus groups and surveyed locals to decide when and how the second wave of lockdown restrictions would be lifted in 2020.
The explosive insight was published Tuesday in The Australian and details how the methods were carried out in both Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Their findings were made clear in an email released to the October 1, 2020 publication, which included analysis from QDOS Research chief John Armitage.
Among the questions asked were Victorians’ views on the then strict rules for gatherings, including a 5km radius of movement, a curfew at 8pm and a ban on visitors to private homes.
It also detailed how the groups in Narre Warren and Ballarat on September 29 and 30, 2020, helped the government determine which rules should be relaxed once the number of cases stagnated.
However, the surveys indicated how, in addition to health advice, Daniel Andrews’ government was also guided by public opinion when making disability decisions.
One question asked respondents their “initial reaction/top-of-mind discussion after recent announcements” in an apparent effort to gauge the mood of Victorians.
Melbourne went into lockdown for the second time in early July 2020 amid rising numbers of Covid cases following the virus leak from the government’s hotel quarantine program.
A month later, stricter rules were introduced and regional Victorians were also imprisoned, as numbers peaked at more than 700 a day in early August.
The restrictions remained in effect for a total of 112 days until the end of October, when the city registered no new virus infections.