Melbourne's COVID-19 lockdown is over — here's a reminder of what's changed

Asia's Tech News Daily

As Melbourne exits what is touted to be its final COVID-19 lockdown, the city’s weary residents can be forgiven for losing track of precisely what changes are happening this time around.

Both Melbourne and Mildura have left lockdown conditions behind, while other parts of regional Victoria have gained some extra freedoms.

While Victorians are still being asked to remain vigilant about practices like wearing masks and social distancing, reaching the initial goal of having 70 per cent of eligible people fully vaccinated has played a big role in reducing the COVID-19 threat.

Here’s a reminder of some of the major changes that come into effect today.

Curfew, restrictions on leaving your home are no more

The curfew introduced in August that limited people’s movement between 9pm and 5am no longer applies.

Along similar lines, you are now able to leave your home for any reason you like, rather than for a limited list of approved reasons.

You are no longer be confined to a 15-kilometre travel radius, either.

One limit on your movement that does remain in place for now, though, is that travel between Melbourne and regional Victoria. It won’t be allowed until the 80 per cent double vaccination goal is reached.

Mask must still be worn

Masks are still required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians.

Changes to mask wearing outdoors are due to come into effect once the 80 per cent vaccination goal is reached.

Your picnics can expand, or you can invite people around

Up to 10 people (including dependents) per day can visit homes in both regional and metropolitan Melbourne.

Health officials strongly recommend that people only permit those aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home.

Outdoor gatherings are permitted for up to 15 people, including dependents, and it’s highly recommended that everyone who is eligible is fully vaccinated.

Working from home continues

People in metropolitan Melbourne must continue to work from home if they can.

In regional areas, people are required to work from home if they can, but offices can open at 25 per cent capacity, with a cap of 10 people.

More young people will return to child care, schools

Childcare and early childhood education centres will remain open to the children who have already been going, but centres will now also welcome the children of fully vaccinated parents.

A plan for a staggered return to classrooms from grade 3 to year 11 in metro Melbourne will begin today.

Onsite learning for all year levels is due to resume once the state hits the 80 per cent vaccination target, something Victoria is due to reach within a fortnight.

Hospitality, entertainment can open

Outdoor entertainment venues can reopen under set conditions, including drive-in cinemas, zoos (which can open at 25 per cent capacity) and other outdoor entertainment venues with a cap of 50 people.

For both the zoos and the other outdoor entertainment, all of the people involved must be fully vaccinated.

Restaurants, pubs and cafes can begin offering seated service again, with density limits and an overall cap of 50 people in outdoor areas and 20 people indoors.

Both staff and patrons will need to be fully vaccinated.

In-person retail still on hold

Apart from essential retailers such as supermarkets and chemists which have remained open during the entire pandemic, retail outlets will remain closed until the 80 per cent goal is reached.

Outdoor service is allowed, and click-and-collect systems are also allowed to continue.

You can finally get a haircut

Hairdressing, beauty and other personal care services can reopen, but there are density limits, with a cap of five patrons allowed in a venue at a time.

Both workers and patrons at those services will need to be fully vaccinated for the businesses to reopen under the roadmap.

Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals can go ahead

Weddings can go ahead, with caps on numbers dependent on the vaccination status of all those involved.

An outdoor wedding can have 50 fully vaccinated people, or 20 with an unknown vaccination status, while an indoor wedding can have 20 fully vaccinated people, or just 10 when the vaccination status is unclear.

The same caps apply for both religious gatherings and funerals.

You’ll have to wait a bit longer for the gym or an indoor swim

Indoor exercise, like going to the gym, will not resume until the 80 per cent target is met.

Outdoor community sport can resume for training only, and only outdoor pools are allowed to reopen.

Things are a bit different in regional areas, including Mildura

With lower case numbers, regional Victoria’s roadmap looks a bit different to metropolitan Melbourne’s.

Many of the changes will be about cap and density increases.

Residents in Mildura, which exited a six-day lockdown at midnight, is now under the same restrictions as the rest of regional Victoria.

Outdoor gatherings are permitted for up to 20 people, including dependents, and it’s highly recommended that everyone who is eligible to be fully vaccinated is immunised.

In regional hospitality venues, caps on numbers will only lift if all staff and patrons are fully vaccinated. For indoor service, up to 30 people will be allowed indoors and up to 100 outdoors.

For full details of the COVID restrictions that remain in place, visit the Victorian Department of Health site.

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