Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced new easing of restrictions which will come into effect from 11:59 pm tonight.
The boundary between Melbourne and regional Victoria will come down, the 25-kilometre limit will no longer be in place and Victorians will be able to make up for lost time with loved ones, Andrews said in a media release.
However, home visits remain the same. “You can still only have a maximum of two people to visit per day. Going forward though, those two people don’t need to be from the same household, and they’ll be able to come at different times.”
Also, the rules that currently apply to regional Victoria will apply to the whole state – wherever one lives.
“It’s really important that people stick within these rules. The data is very clear on this: so many of our recent outbreaks were connected to home visits. Home is where we relax, where we feel comfortable – which is precisely why it’s so dangerous,” the release said.
Restaurants, pubs and cafes will be able to host up to 40 customers indoors and 70 outdoors.
Gyms and indoor sporting facilities can open with up to 20 – subject to strict density limits. Indoor sport for those 18 and under can recommence.
Indoor religious ceremonies will be increased to 20, with 50 allowed outside. The same numbers will apply to funerals, but there’s no change to weddings – for now.
Community spaces like libraries or RSLs and neighbourhood houses can have up to 20 indoors, with groups of up to ten.
Also, from tonight, and across the state, indoor entertainment venues will be able to open with 20 people per space. That means movie theatres, galleries, museums and music halls will now be able to open.
The rules around visiting aged care and hospitals will also be relaxed.
Instead of a specific number of visitors – a household will be able to visit together. Once per day and limited to two hours.
Those under 16 will also be able to visit hospitals. And the time limit for partners visiting maternity wards will no longer exist.
“Individual hospitals and facilities though may continue to have their own policies – reflecting the needs of their patients and whatever the virus might be doing in our community.”
“But because the virus is still very much with us, the State of Emergency will be extended until 6 December to allow the Chief Health Officer’s directions to remain in force. From 22 November – and in line with the public health advice – Victoria is on track to reach the Last Step in our roadmap towards reopening,” Andrews said.
Private gatherings will be able to increase to 10 people.
Gatherings for religious services, weddings and funerals will also increase too.
Hospitality venues will be able to have up to 100 indoors, 200 outside.
There’ll also be increases for other indoor venues like cinemas and gym and galleries.
More detail about other changes will be made available online.