Further restrictions to be eased in Victoria, COVID tests required for Melbourne residents heading to the snow

Further restrictions to be eased in Victoria, COVID tests required for Melbourne residents heading to the snow

Mt Hotham. Photo by Craig Parry

"Victoria is at its best when we are altogether."

Acting Premier James Merlino has announced the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria, despite a cluster of cases in Southbank in Melbourne this week.

The announcement comes after Victoria reported three new locally acquired COVID-19 cases overnight, with the state officially recording a total of five new local cases on Tuesday, which includes two cases revealed by authorities at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

As we slowly inch back towards COVID-normal, Mr Merlino says the metropolitan border will be lifted from 11.59pm on Thursday, June 17.

“Victoria is at its best when we are all together,” Mr Merlino said.

“We have waiting to see those people and places that we love, which is why I am very pleased to confirm that on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, the Metropolitan border and the 25-kilometre limit will be removed, and the state will come back together from 11.59pm tomorrow night.

“Thanks to the work of all Victorians, we are able to announce the easing of restrictions.”

Restrictions easing in Greater Melbourne

From 11:59pm tomorrow:

  • The 25km limit on your travel will be removed.
  • Two visitors will be allowed in the home per day, while public gatherings will increase to 20 outside.
  • Businesses can reopen including gyms, indoor entertainment venues and electronic gaming
  • Hospitality venues can host up to 25 people before applying the density quota
  • The rule that if you can work from home you should work from home remains, but office workers will be able to return up to 50 per cent or up to 20 people, whichever is greater.
  • Competition and community support can return. There is no limit on travel for sport.
  • Masks are no longer required outdoors, however, it is still recommended if you cannot maintain at least 1.5m of distance to others.
  • Everyone must continue to wear them indoors, whether it is shopping, on a train or at a workplace.
  • Funerals will be allowed 75 mourners and weddings will be allowed 20 guests.
  • From Friday, hair and beauty services can operate without masks.

Alongside these restrictions, Melbourne residents wanting a snow holiday must have a negative test result Victoria’s efforts to keep COVID-19 out of regional areas means those from Melbourne wanting to go on a snow holiday must take certain steps.

You must have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours before departing for Victoria’s alpine resorts.

Restrictions easing in Regional Victoria

From 11:59pm tomorrow:

  • Public gatherings increase to 50 people.
  • Restaurants and cafes can have 300 patrons for seated service.
  • Smaller venues can have up to 25 people, before density quotas apply.
  • Religious services capped at 300 people.
  • Funerals capped at 100, weddings up to 50.
  • Officer caps increased to 75 per cent or 30 people, whichever is greater.
  • Visitors at the home will be five per day, including dependants.
  • Physical recreation and sport open with density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm. Max venue capacity 300 per indoor space and outdoor cap of 1000 people
  • Community sport open for all ages, training and competition

Alongside these restrictions, James Merlino said the government is working with the AFL to allow crowds of up to 7,000 at ALF games in Geelong.

“I know that football is something on a lot of people’s minds, while we can’t have the crowds back in Melbourne just yet, we will be able to get some people along to the games in the Geelong on Friday.”

You will be allowed to attend games at Kardinia Park if you live in Colac Otway Shire,  City of greater Geelong, Queenscliffe and the Surf Coast if you are a member of either of the teams playing.

Mr Merlino revealed the restrictions will be reviewed in one week, with the public health team reviewing the data and options “on a daily basis”.

“That is subject to case numbers, exposure sites, and always on the advice of public health. I expect we will be back here in one week to make further announcements about easing of restrictions.”

Read the Premier’s statement here. You can view the full table of restrictions here