All caps on gathering to be dropped at midnight

November 18, 2021 BY

Midnight moves: From Friday there’ll be no restrictions on dancing for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Photo: ALBERTO PEZZALI/ AAP

COVID-19 restrictions will ease significantly as of midnight tonight (Thursday, November 18), with no limits in the home and no caps or density limits for cafés and restaurants.

Announced this morning by Premier Daniel Andrews, almost all restrictions will be lifted for Victorians who are double-vaccinated as the state is set to hit the 90 per cent double-dose milestone for eligible people in the coming days.

“What do these rule changes from 11.59pm tonight mean? Well first and foremost, there are no more caps, there are no more closures,” Mr Andrews said.

“There are no more rules in terms of how many people can be in different spaces.

“As it is to your home, back to normal. The number of people in a pub or cafe or restaurant, back to normal.

“There will not be COVID rules that determine how many people are at the pub, it will be the liquor license, back to normal.

“You can stand up to have a drink, dance floors, all of those things that we have missed, and that are absolutely about getting to as normal a situation as possible. That normality that we have all craved, we are able to deliver that as a result of the amazing work that Victorians have done in getting vaccinated in record time. And in record numbers.”

Masks will still be required for primary school staff and visitors and for students in Years 3 to 6, for workers serving the public at hospitality venues, for workers and customers at indoor retail, for visitors and select workers in hospitals or care facilities, and for people using public transport, taxi/rideshare and planes.

Retail customers won’t have to wear masks after December 15, unless there is a significant jump in hospitalisations.

High-risk work settings such as corrections and meat, poultry and seafood processing will continue to require masks.

There will still be mask requirements, density limits and caps in place for weddings, funerals, places of worship and other settings if the vaccination status of attendees is not being checked. The usual exceptions will apply.

All indoor and outdoor events with less than 30,000 fully vaccinated attendees will be able to proceed with no special approval, and outdoor events with 30,000 or more will only need to publish their COVIDSafe Plan.

Non-essential retail settings will open only to Victorians who are fully vaccinated, under 12 years and two months, or have a valid exemption.

Self-quarantine obligations are also being reduced across the board for COVID-19 cases and fully-vaccinated contacts.

From 11.59pm tonight, the vast majority of people who come into contact with a confirmed positive case outside their home won’t have to self-quarantine. These contacts will be required to get a standard (PCR) test and isolate until they get a negative result.

Exposure sites will no longer be published. Instead, the Department of Health and Human Services will use the new alert function in the Service Victoria app to notify patrons of higher-risk venues where positive cases have been present – such as restaurants, gyms and nightclubs – and advise them to get tested.

Individuals who test positive are strongly recommended to tell the social contacts they have spent time with and encourage them to get tested. The department will not trace or manage these contacts.

For the full list of changes, head to coronavirus.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covidsafe-settings