Melbourne residents warned not to leave the city without a valid reason.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has delivered some good news to regional Victoria, announcing restrictions in Regional Victoria will ease at 11:59pm tonight. Unfortunately for Melbourne, there will be no changes to current restrictions.
The announcement comes as Victoria records 11 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, all are linked to known outbreaks, but only one of those new cases was in quarantine while infectious. The cases were detected from 38,987 test results processed on Sunday, taking the total to 1 million tests since July 12.
What you need to know
- Regional Victoria will emerge from lockdown from midnight tonight
- Restrictions currently remain for Melbourne
- People will only be able to travel to Melbourne for a permitted reason and must follow Melbourne restrictions
Stay up to date with what’s happening in Melbourne here.
Following advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, from midnight tonight, the lockdown will lift in regional Victoria.
The five reasons to leave home will be removed and there will be no limit on the distance regional Victorians can travel from home, but people will only be able to travel to Melbourne for a permitted reason and must follow Melbourne restrictions.
Premier Daniel Andrews said there have been no new coronavirus cases in regional Victoria and thousands of primary close contacts have been cleared from the regions over the last few weeks.
Importantly, private gatherings in the home are still not permitted, however, outdoor gatherings in public spaces can occur with up to 10 people. Face masks will also still be mandatory indoors and outdoors.
Further changes include:
- Schools and hospitality venues will be allowed to open.
- Food and hospitality will open for seated service only, a density requirement of 1 person per 4sqm will apply, with a maximum of 100 people per venue. Venues smaller than 100sqm can have up to 25 people before density requirements apply.
- Retail can also open and personal services such as beauty and tattooing can resume. Face masks can be removed where required for the service to be performed.
- Religious gatherings and ceremonies are allowed, with density requirements of 1 person per 4sqm, and no more than 100 people total indoors and 300 people outdoors per venue.
- Weddings and funerals are also able to have up to 50 people at a venue. This limit doesn’t include infants under 12 months of age, or the people required to conduct the service.
- Community sport is open for all ages, including training and competition. Only the minimum number of participants (players, coaches, referees, officials, and carers or parents) needed to train or compete are permitted to attend, subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm. Spectators are not permitted.
- Entertainment venues can have up to 300 people per outdoor space with a density requirement of 1 person per 4 sqm and a cap of 100 people per space indoors. All entertainment facilities are required to have a COVID Check-in Marshal to monitor patrons checking-in with the Service Victoria app.
Businesses that are open in regional Victoria but closed in Melbourne – restaurants for dine-in service or beauty for example – must check the IDs of everyone they serve.
While it’s great news for regional Victoria, Melbourne residents have been warned they must not travel within the state without a valid reason.
“No one from Melbourne should be going to the regions unless they have a valid reason,” said the Premier.
People from regional Victoria may travel through Melbourne to get to another part of regional Victoria, but Premier Andrews urged residents to use their judgement when doing so.
“Use common sense. Please make good decision, sound decisions,” he said.
“Today’s a good day for regional Victoria, and in many respects a positive day for the whole state.”
All regional Victorians need to continue with their COVIDSafe behaviours – most importantly to get tested immediately if they have any symptoms at all and get vaccinated if it’s their turn.
You can view the premier’s announcement here.