Acting Premier James Merlino has delivered some good news.
Finally, some reprieve for our friends in Melbourne, with Acting Premier James Merlino announcing that lockdown will end after Victoria reported only one new local COVID-19 case on Wednesday.
The health department confirmed on Wednesday morning the single new case recorded in the 24 hours until midnight is linked to an existing outbreak and has been in quarantine during their infectious period. Wednesday’s case brings the total of the coronavirus cluster to 84.
From 11:59pm tomorrow night, Mr Merlino revealed that Metropolitan Melbourne will move to most of the same settings currently in place across regional Victoria, and regional Victoria will move further towards further easing.
“For Melbourne, that means the five reasons to leave home will no longer apply in metropolitan Melbourne. The existing 10-kilometre limit will be increased to 25km. That means the only reasons to go further than 25km will be for work, education, caregiving or getting a vaccination. Travel into regional Victoria still remains a no go for now. We are also still not in a position to be able to have visitors in our homes, but outdoor gatherings will be increased to a maximum of 10 people.
“Schools will be able to resume face-to-face learning from Friday. Which is great news for teachers, staff, students and parents.
“Masks will no longer be required outdoors unless you cannot maintain a 1.5 metre distance, but it is important that everyone continues to wear them indoors, whether that is shopping, on the train or at work.”
The following other limits will apply in Melbourne:
- Funerals limited to 50 people, weddings 10
- Religious ceremonies capped at 50 inside
- Offices can return with 25 per cent or a cap of 10, whichever is greater. People should still work from home if they can.
- Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service with up to 100 people per venue and a maximum of 50 inside.
- Retail can reopen with density limit of 1 person per 4 sqm
- Beauty services can resume for services where a mask can be worn
- Community sport can resume training
- Auctions can happen outdoors with max 50 people
- Some entertainment venues and community facilities will also open in line with density limits and additional caps, and they are in line with the current settings in regional Victoria.
Regional Victoria will see more restrictions easing from 11:59pm on Thursday night with the following changes:
- Visits to the home are allowed for two adults per day, plus their dependents
- Public gatherings increased to 20 people
- Restaurants and cafes can open to max for 150 per venue for seated service, with up to 75 allowed indoors
- Religious services capped at 150 for venue, with no more than 75 people allowed indoors
- Funerals limited to 75 people, weddings 20
- Offices remain capped at 50 per cent
- Community sport back for all ages for both training and competition
- Travel within regional Victoria remains permitted
The plan is to ease COVID restrictions further on Thursday next week, with restrictions in Melbourne intended to ease in venues, and around community sports restrictions and further changes for regional Victoria.
“Subject to the public health advice, the epidemiological conditions through the next week, we expect to be next Thursday night, the regional-metro divisions will come down and we’ll be able to travel more freely around the state again,” Merlino said.
For more information on the announcement, visit the Premier of Victoria website.