Melbourne’s restrictions ease as state records two new COVID-19 cases

By Shannon Jenkins

October 28, 2020

melbourne flinders street station
Canberra and Melbourne workers went back to offices at rates not seen since the middle of 2021 last month. (Aleksandar Todorovic/Adobe)

Melburnians will today be able to leave their homes to go to the pub, attend a fitness class and visit the beauty salon after four months of lockdown and strict COVID-19 measures.

It comes as the state on Wednesday recorded two new cases of the virus and two deaths, after reporting two consecutive days of zero new cases for the first time since March. The 14-day rolling average for Melbourne currently sits at 2.7, and zero for regional Victoria.

Today, in measures announced by Premier Daniel Andrews this week, Melbourne residents no longer need an “essential” reason to leave their homes, and the city’s cafes, restaurants and pubs can reopen with up to 50 people outdoors, and up to 20 indoors.

Melburnians aged 18 and under can play contact sport outdoors, while adults can play non-contact sport. PT, fitness and dance classes can also resume outdoors with up to 10 people, and the number of people at outdoor pools can increase to 50.

Retail can reopen, beauty and personal care services can resume, libraries and community venues can open for outdoor events, and outdoor entertainment venues can take visitors.

Two adults from one household, as well as their dependents, can visit another household in Melbourne once per day.

Weddings will increase to 10 people, and funerals can have up to 20. Faith communities will be able to meet for outdoor religious ceremonies with up to 20 people in addition to those required for the service. Indoor services can resume with up to 10.

Workplaces will no longer need to be on the permitted work list to open and the ability to work will change to “if you can work from home you must work from home”.

The 25-kilometre limit and state border restrictions remain in place, and Victorians must continue to wear masks. Work permits will still be required for workers travelling between Melbourne and regional Victoria.

However, from November 8 (and subject to case numbers), the distance limit and state border restrictions will be lifted, and the capacity of pubs, restaurants, and religious gatherings will increase. Gyms, indoor fitness, and accommodation will also reopen.

Melbourne residents have been subject to stage three restrictions since July 9, and stage four restrictions since August 2.

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