Regional Victoria lockdown lifts at midnight
REGIONAL Victoria will revert to the COVID-19 settings in place before the start of the state’s sixth lockdown, with restrictions to be lifted at 11.59pm today.
Speaking at a press conference this morning, Premier Daniel Andrews said the five permitted reasons to leave home no longer applied.
“Schools will be open again from tomorrow,” he said. “Hospitality venues will be open. People will be able to go back to work if they’re an authorised worker.”
No private gatherings are allowed, and regional Victorians who can work from home should still do so.
“Today’s a good day for regional Victoria,” Mr Andrews said.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said there were no exposure sites in regional Victoria and no cases, just a few primary close contacts, so it was appropriate to ease restrictions now in regional Victoria.
“Some of the protections for regional Victoria relates to Melburnians knowing what they need to do – so not travelling to regional Victoria, unless they’re permitted to, unless there’s an absolute reason to do so,” he said.
“I’ve got confidence in metropolitan Melburnians doing exactly that.”
As of 11.59pm tonight, the restrictions for regional Victoria include no limit on the distance regional Victorians can travel from home, but they will only be able to travel to Melbourne for a permitted reason and you must follow the Melbourne restrictions once there.
Outdoor gatherings in public spaces can occur with up to 10 people and face masks will also still be mandatory indoors and outdoors
Food and hospitality will open for seated service only, a density requirement of one person per four square metres will apply, with a maximum of 100 people per venue. Venues smaller than 100 square meters can have up to 25 people before density requirements apply
Retail can also open and personal services such as beauty and tattooing can resume and face masks can be removed where required for the service to be performed
Religious gatherings and ceremonies are allowed, with density requirements of one person per four square metres, 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 and the limit doesn’t include infants under 12 months of age, or the people required to conduct the service
Community sport can return for all ages, including training and competition. Only the minimum number of participants, like players, coaches, referees, officials, and carers or parents needed to train or compete are permitted to attend, and attendance is subject to a density quotient of one person per four square metres. Spectators are not permitted
Entertainment venues can have up to 300 people per outdoor space with a density requirement of one person per four square metres 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, like restaurants for dine-in service or beauty, must check the IDs of everyone they serve.
Regional Victorians are being encouraged to get tested if they have any symptoms and get vaccinated if eligible.
There have been more than 15,000 extra vaccine appointments following yesterday’s change to Victoria’s AstraZeneca policy for under-40s.
“We’ll look to add more sites, we’ll look to have more vaccine available, we’ll have to have more appointments available over the coming days and weeks,” Mr Andrews said.
“That’s a fantastic response to announcements, only made yesterday.”
See a full list of changes to regional Victoria’s COVID-19 restrictions here.