Face masks are no longer mandatory outdoors in Victoria

Face masks are no longer mandatory outdoors in Victoria

Photo by Thomas de Luze via Unsplash
Words by Talia Rinaldo

Dan Andrews has revealed major changes to Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Yesterday, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews welcomed the state’s 23rd consecutive day of zero new cases of COVID-19, with just one active case left across the state, by announcing major changes to the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

In good news for the upcoming Christmas season, Andrews confirmed you’ll be able to host up to 30 people in your home for Christmas Day. Babies under 12 months won’t count towards the cap. The change will come into effect from 11.59pm December 13, just in time for the holiday period.

Alongside the news about the silly season, Andrews revealed some immediate changes in regards to the hospitality and entertainment sectors and social gatherings. From 11:59pm Sunday November 22:

  • The number of visitors to your home will increase from two to 15 per day. That can be split across different times – ten for lunch, and five for dinner – as long as people are sticking to a total of 15.
  • Outdoor gatherings in a public place – the park, the beach – will increase to 50.
  • Weddings will increase to 150 people. The same number will apply to funerals and religious ceremonies indoors, and outdoors with 300 people.
  • For smaller hospitality venues, the density limit will change to one person for every two square metres – up to 50 customers. QR code record keeping will be mandatory.
  • For bigger venues, the density limit will stay the same, but the cap will increase to 150. Total venue capacity will also rise to 300.
  • Cinemas, galleries and museums will also be able to host up to 150 people indoors.
  • Community clubs, contact and non-contact sports can begin for adults as well as kids – 150 people indoors with a group size of up to 20 and 500 outdoors with groups of up to 50.
  • Indoor pools can host 150 people, outdoor pools can go to 300 people, skate parks, trampolining centres, indoors, they are able to go to 150 people.
  • Organisers will also be able to apply to host a public event. Different requirements and rules will need to apply, depending on whether it’s a school fete or a major sporting match.
  • Higher education will return to on-campus learning for some studies, there will be a whole range of rules and different processes, COVID-safe planning, but the higher education sector will be open again for on-campus learning over the summer period.
  • Gyms will open up further, with 150 people in groups of 20, with one person per four square metres.
  • Community venues, libraries and the like, 150 people inside, 300 people outside.

Andrews has also revealed some changes to the rules for face coverings.

Face masks will no longer be required outdoors in Victoria from midnight last night, as long as physical distancing can be maintained. The requirement to wear masks inside and on public transport remains.

“For example, you’ll still need to keep your mask on if you’re at a busy outdoor market – or in line for a snag at your local Bunnings,” the Premier revealed.

“If you’re headed for a quiet stroll around the neighbourhood, you won’t need to wear a mask – but you will need to carry one, in case the situation changes.”

The Premier also revealed a phased approach for staff heading back to the office. From 30 November, up to 25 per cent of workers will be able to attend onsite.

“75 per cent will still need to work from home and we will make further announcements over the course of the coming weeks and months, and we will slowly build that up to a higher number of course than 25 per cent, but we can’t usefully speculate, or with any great certainty speculate on when the next jump would be and whether we can ever get anywhere near 100 per cent.”
The Premier will reveal more information about what a “COVIDSafe Summer” will look like in the next few weeks – and in line with what our public health experts are telling us is safe.

“For now, though, I want to thank Victorians. Getting here was by no means guaranteed. But we did it. You did it.

“It’s been a long, hard winter. Now, it’s time to enjoy the sun.”


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