Outdoor gatherings of 50, up to 15 visitors in homes, weddings and funerals capped at 300 people.
Acting Premier James Merlino has announced the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria as no new local cases were recorded in Victoria overnight, and one case was diagnosed in hotel quarantine.
Victoria has now recorded seven days with one or fewer new local cases, and no new exposure site has been listed since Wednesday last week, leading Mr Merlino to announce a raft of restriction changes, with more Victorians allowed to visit other people’s homes, and return to offices and gather outdoors. However, the mask mandate for indoor venues is set to remain.
“We all want to be back at birthday parties, barbecues at home, to see friends, to explore the coast, the regions, and take the kids on a trip somewhere,” Mr Merlino said.
“We did want to provide as much certainty as we can today for the easing of restrictions, particularly as the next couple of weeks will be school holidays.
“So today we are taking some big steps forward so we can spend more time together with the people we love.”
From 11.59pm tomorrow (Thursday June 24), new restrictions will include:
- Public gatherings of up to 50 people outdoors
- Gatherings in the home will be permitted, with up to 15 visitors to a home per day, including dependents.
- Work from home recommendations removed, caps raised
- Funerals and weddings can move to a cap of 300 people, subject to the density limits of the venue
- Recreational sport – 300 people indoors, 1,000 outdoors
- Seated venues – maximum 300 indoors, 1,000 outdoors
- Non-seated venues – Open to a maximum of 300 people per space indoors, 1,000 per space outdoors
- Mask rules don’t change – keep them on you!
- Theatres will initially open at 50% capacity, with up to 1,000 people
- Crowds can attend public events and outdoor stadiums with a limit of 50%, or up to 25,000 people
- Study from home requirement removed for higher education and training
- Karaoke and Nightclubs: Seated service only
“On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, restrictions in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will ease from 11.59pm Thursday 24 June,” he said.
“And these changes won’t just last a week – they’ll remain in place for at least two weeks’ time, meaning Victorians can plan and get back to doing the things they love.”
Live music will have greater numbers in pubs, clubs and other hospitality venues across the state too, but dance floors are still closed for now.
Subject to epidemiology and the advice of the Chief Health Officer, from 11:59pm, 1 July, outdoor stadiums will be able to host even bigger numbers:
“That means 100% capacity at shows like Frozen at Her Majesty’s Theatre, and Harry Potter at the Princess Theatre.
“And indoor and outdoor stadiums will be able to increase to 85 per cent capacity – so that includes the MCG, Marvel Stadium, and AAMI Park.”
This news comes as NSW announce travel bans, mandatory masks in offices under new COVID-19 restrictions following today’s COVID-19 numbers.
NSW residents who live or work in seven COVID-affected local government areas – which Victoria is now calling “red zones” – will be restricted from travelling outside metropolitan Sydney from 4pm today.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the tighter restrictions also included a return to no more than five visitors to households, seated service only in hospitality venues and no dancing or singing except for wedding dance floors (which are capped at 20 people).
You can read the statement from the Acting Premier here. A full table of restrictions can be downloaded via this page.