Hospitality, retail to open under new COVIDSafe rules

By Our Reporter
Photo: Heidi Fin

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews in a late afternoon press conference on Monday announced the easing of restrictions as Melbourne moves out of lockdown and goes into the Third Step.

“Under the Third Step, and from 11:59pm on Tuesday, Melbourne will move from “stay home” to “stay safe”, with no more restrictions on the reasons to leave home.”

Under the Third Step, Melbourne’s cafes, restaurants and pubs can reopen. Outdoors with a limit of up to 50, indoors up to 20. Density limits, record keeping and COVIDSafe Plans also apply.

“Remaining retail will also open. Beauty and personal care services can resume. And for those businesses who need to get ready for their reopening—staff will be able to attend onsite straight away,” Andrews announced.

However, the 25-kilometre limit though, will remain in place.

“I know it’s frustrating, but this is about making sure that even as we ease restrictions, we’re limiting the virus’s ability to travel. It’s why the border between regional Victoria and Melbourne will also remain in place—for just a bit longer,” said the Premier.

Outdoor contact sport for those aged 18 and under will also begin again – so too can non-contact sport for adults. PT, fitness and dance classes can also be held outdoors with up to ten people, and the number of people at outdoor pools can increase to 50, subject to density limits.

Libraries and community venues will be able to open for outdoor events. Outdoor entertainment venues can also begin hosting visitors.

Faith communities will be able to meet for outdoor religious ceremonies with up to 20 people, in addition to those required for the service. Indoor services can be held with up to 10.

Weddings will increase to ten people, and funerals up to 20.

Workplaces will no longer need to be on the permitted work list to open and the ability to work will change to “if you can work from home you must work from home”.

While the boundary is in place, work permits will still be required for workers from Melbourne travelling into regional Victoria—and vice versa.

From 8 November, if the state can continue driving case numbers down, the 25km limit will come off and Melbourne will be able to meet regional Victoria at the same level.

That means the same eased restrictions that apply to regional Victoria will also apply to Melbourne.

The capacity of pubs and restaurants will increase, with up to 40 inside and 70 outside.

Religious gatherings will expand with up 20 people and a faith leader indoors, and 50 outside.

Gyms and indoor fitness will be able to reopen – with some strict safety precautions in place.

The border between the city and the rest of the state will also fall away, Andrews said.

Victoria recorded zero cases overnight. The last time Victoria had zero cases was on 9 June, 139 days ago.

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