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Covid Victoria restrictions explained: new coronavirus rules for Melbourne and regional areas

·4 min read
<span>Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Victoria has announced a further easing of restrictions in Melbourne after residents spent a week in a state of semi-lockdown.

The following rules apply in greater Melbourne and regional Victoria.

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When can I leave my house?

People in Melbourne and regional Victoria can leave home for any reason.

How far can I travel from home?

From 11.59pm Thursday, the 25km travel limit will be scrapped and Melburnians will be able to travel freely in the state. However, anyone going to regional Victorian Alpine Resorts must have had a Covid test within 72 hours and show evidence of a negative result to enter the ski field.

Until then, the only reasons to go further than 25km from home are work, education, care and caregiving, and getting vaccinated. And travel into regional Victoria to visit family and friends or take a holiday remains a no go until 11.59pm Thursday.

Regional Victorians have no restrictions on how far they can travel within regional Victoria and will be able to go in and out of greater Melbourne from Friday.

What are the rules for exercise?

There is no time limit on exercise, but people in Melbourne should exercise within 25km of home until the travel limit lifts on Friday.

There are no restrictions on exercise in regional Victoria.

What are the rules for wearing face masks?

Masks must be worn indoors except for in your home – unless you have a medical exemption.

From 11.59pm Thursday, masks will no longer need to be worn outdoors unless 1.5m of physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Can I have visitors to my house?

From Friday, two visitors a day will be allowed to homes in Melbourne. People in regional Victoria will be allowed to have up to five visitors and their dependants – once per day.

Until then, regional Victorians can have two visitors to their home per day, while no visitors are allowed to homes in Melbourne, other than an intimate partner. People who live alone can form a “single bubble”. If you live alone, you can make a bubble with another person, who can visit you.

Can I travel interstate?

Each state and territory is updating guidance on travel rules individually:

What about public gatherings?

Public gatherings up to 20 people will be allowed in Melbourne from Friday, up from the current maximum of 10 people.

In regional Victoria, the maximum will increase from 20 to 50 people at 11.59pm Thursday.

What is happening with schools?

Schools in Melbourne and regional Victoria have resumed face-to-face learning for all students.

Childcare, early learning centres and kindergartens are open.

Can I dine in at a restaurant or cafe?

Cafes, restaurants and pubs are open – with strict safety measures like density limits, seated service and QR codes in place. From Friday, up to 150 people per venue will be allowed, but no more than 75 indoors.

In regional Victoria, they are open for seated service only, with the maximum patron cap to lift from 50 people to 300 from Friday. Group sizes of a maximum of 50 – up from 10 – will be allowed and density of one person per four square metres.

Are the shops open?

In Melbourne and regional Victoria, retail is open with a density of one person per four square metres.

Across Victoria all venues are now required to make people sign in to the Service Vic QR code app.

What about weddings, funerals and religious services?

In Melbourne, weddings will be limited to 20 people from Friday, double the current number. Dancefloors are not permitted.

At funerals no more than 75 people will be able to attend, up from 50. Religious gatherings of a maximum of 150 (75 max indoors) will be permitted.

In regional Victoria, up to 50 people will be allowed to go to weddings from Friday. Funerals will have no more than 100 people, but children under 12 months do not count in this cap.

What about aged care and hospitals?

Across Victoria, no visitors are allowed at aged care facilities except for limited reasons. There will be no visitors to hospitals allowed except for end of life, if you’re a partner during the birth of your child, or a parent accompanying a child.

Can I go and get vaccinated?

Yes. The Victorian government has expanded the eligibility to include those aged between 40-49 for state-operated vaccination sites. People in this category can now call the hotline on 1800 675 398 to book an appointment.

What about heading back to the office?

In Melbourne if people can work from home they must work from home. However, from Friday, workplaces can have up to 50% of staff in the office, or maximum 20 people, whichever is greater.

In regional Victoria, if people can work from home they must work from home, but workplaces can have up to 75% of staff in the office from Friday, or maximum 30 people, whichever is greater.

  • Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is regularly updated to ensure it reflects the current situation at the date of publication. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.

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