Lockdown to lift in regional Victoria on Friday
LOCKDOWN restrictions will lift across almost all of regional Victoria as of Friday this week.
At a press conference this morning, Premier Daniel Andrews said COVID-19 case numbers in the rest of regional Victoria had remained low and contained, and Victoria’s Chief Health Officer had advised that restrictions could ease outside of Melbourne except in Greater Shepparton.
From 11.59pm tomorrow, Thursday, 9 September, the changes include:
The five reasons to leave the home will be removed in regional Victoria, except for Greater Shepparton. There will be no limit on the distance regional Victorians can travel from home – other than restrictions on entry to metropolitan Melbourne.
The Authorised Worker list will no longer apply in the regions, meaning most businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits. Regional Victorians will return to the rule ‘if you can work from home, you should work from home’ but office workers will be able to return up to 25 per cent or up to 10 people, whichever is greater.
Regional schools will reopen for onsite learning for Prep to Grade 2 and Year 12 students who live in regional Victoria, while remote learning will remain for all other levels. Onsite supervision at schools remains available for vulnerable children and children of essential workers in all year levels, including for students from metropolitan Melbourne.
Funerals will be permitted for up to 20 people and weddings will be permitted for up to 10 people, plus those required to conduct the service. Stricter limits will be in place for both weddings and funerals with people from Melbourne in attendance.
Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service with patron caps.
Retail, hairdressing, entertainment venues and community facilities will also open in line with density limits and patron caps.
Masks will continue to be required indoors and outdoors, apart from private residences, unless an exception applies.
Businesses that are open in regional Victoria – such as restaurants or beauty services – must check the IDs of everyone they serve.
Given the risk coming from Melbourne, Victoria Police will significantly expand their operation along the metropolitan border to protect regional Victoria.
Police will also be out in force in regional areas, conducting spot checks to ensure people from metropolitan Melbourne are not in regional Victoria unless for authorised reasons. The fine for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions is $5452.
“As I said, and I have said a number of times, it’s not a snapback, it’s not Freedom Day, it’s not 100 per cent of capacity down at the pub. It can’t be,” Mr Andrews said.
“If it is, then we will simply see numbers spread and then we’ll have to close large parts of regional Victoria down again and perhaps even all of regional Victoria. We don’t want that.
“We want to do this in a cautious way, but in a positive way in as optimistic way as possible.”