Melburnians have endured one of the world’s longest coronavirus lockdowns but they will have some relief from midnight on Tuesday as the city’s lockdown ends and widespread changes to restrictions are introduced.
The state recorded zero coronavirus cases on Monday, paving the way for Premier Daniel Andrews to declare that “now is the time to open up” the city.
No reason needed to leave home
From Wednesday the four designated reasons to leave home will be lifted, meaning Melburnians can now leave home for any reason – or for no reason at all.
However there will be limits to the distance you can travel from your home for just a little while longer.
The 25-kilometre limit will remain in place until midnight on 8 November to prevent Melburnians congregating in popular locations such as the Mornington Peninsular and the Dandenong Ranges.
Before 9 November, city residents will still not be allowed to travel outside of metropolitan Melbourne to regional Victoria.
After this date, the “ring of steel” will go and the city and state will become one again.
Cafes and pubs to open doors
Bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes, which have been operating for takeaway-only, will reopen for seated customers from Wednesday, though strict limits on the number of patrons will be enforced.
Venues will be allowed to serve a maximum of 20 indoor patrons at a time throughout the venue, and a maximum of 10 people per indoor space.
Outdoor seating will be limited to 50 people per venue.
Density limits will operate for both indoor and outdoor venues, and venues will be required to have COVID-safe plans and take the details of customers.
Retail to reopen
Retail will reopen from Wednesday onwards, as well as beauty services and tattoo parlours.
Questions over household gatherings
Outdoor gatherings will remain at a limit of 10 people, but the prior restrictions of those people only being from up to two households will be lifted.
The ban on indoor household gatherings will also be lifted, though the details of what restrictions will be in place have yet to be announced.
Premier Andrews said the details of what limits would be in place for household gatherings would be announced on Tuesday.
Religious gatherings and ceremonies
Up to 10 people plus one faith leader will be allowed to gather for indoor religious gatherings, with up to 20 people plus one faith leader allowed outdoors.
Weddings will be allowed to have up to 10 people, while up to 20 mourners will be allowed to gather at outdoor funerals.
Outdoor community sport
Outdoor community sport for under 18s and outdoor non-contact sport for adults will also recommence.
What will change from 9 November
The ban on travel outside of metropolitan Melbourne will lift at midnight on 8 November, with other major restrictions also lifting at this time. These will include:
- The reopening of gyms and fitness studios, which will allow a maximum of 20 people.
- Restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars will be allowed to accomodate 40 people indoors and 70 outdoors.
- Religious gatherings will permit 20 people plus one faith leader for indoor events, and up to 50 people for outdoor activities.
- Funerals will be allowed to take place indoors with up to 20 mourners, with 50 permitted to gather for outdoor services.
- Some sport will be able to operate indoors, including non-contact sport for under 18s and sports able to abide by 1.5-metre distancing rules.
- Indoor pools will allow up to 20 people.
Workers across all sectors are still being advised to work from home if they can.
All Melburnians will still be required to wear a mandatory face mask when leaving the home, despite the relaxing of other rules.
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others.
Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits.
If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
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