Daniel Andrews announces MAJOR changes to coronavirus restrictions within weeks including reopened museums, cinemas and play centres as well as big restaurant bookings and new rules for gyms
- Melburnians will be able to go to the gym and travel to regional Victoria
- Restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes will be allowed to seat 70 people outside
- Gyms will open with 20 people inside as well as casinos, threatres and cinema
- The eased restrictions will come into effect from Sunday at 11.59pm
- From November 22, Daniel Andrews announced even more restrictions will ease
- Victorians will be allowed 10 visitors to their home and 50 for public gatherings
Daniel Andrews has announced major changes to COVID-19 restrictions, reopening cinemas, play centres and museums after months of enforced lockdown.
The Victorian premier also revealed another batch of restrictions due to be lifted in two weeks on November 22.
From 11.59pm on Sunday, libraries, galleries, cinemas, gyms and museums will be allowed to open with 20 people per venue.
The limit will increase to 100 people from November 22.
Punters can get back on gaming machines, with ten patrons per venue, from midnight tonight, while casinos will be permitted to hold 10 people per room.
Also from November 22, Victorians will be allowed ten people round to their house, regardless of their household bubble.
All hospitality venues including bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed 100 customers indoors and 200 outside.
Victoria is set to reap the benefits of relaxed coronavirus restrictions from Sunday at midnight, with travel to regional areas among the changes (pictured, Melburnians on Saturday)
Cinemas and galleries will also be allowed 100 patrons, while wedding limits will shoot up to 100 people.
At gyms, 100 people will be allowed in two weeks with maximum groups of ten – signalling the start of group exercise classes.
‘It can’t be done open slather because whilst these numbers are good what we have all built together is fragile. Precious and fragile. It has to be safeguarded,’ Mr Andrews told a press conference on Sunday morning.
Community spaces including libraries or RSLs and neighbourhood houses can have up to 20 indoors, with groups of up to ten.
The major announcement comes as Victorians prepare to enjoy the first major easing of restrictions at midnight on Sunday, including finally going to the gym and travelling to regional areas.
The widely-hated travel restriction between Melbourne and regional Victoria will be lifted and the 25km travel radius scrapped, following nine consecutive days of no new cases.
MELBOURNE’S PATH OUT OF LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU CAN DO AND WHEN IN NOVEMEBER
From 11.59pm on November 8:
Travel: The ‘Ring of Steel’ will be dropped from Melbourne, allowing full regional travel
End of the 25km rule that kept people close to their homes, with hotels now also allowed to open up
Hospitality: 40 customers allowed inside restaurant pubs and cafes, with 70 allowed outdoors
Socialising: Households can still only have two visitors at a time, but they can be from two different households and can bring their children
Sports: Gyms and indoor facilities can open with up to 20 people inside, and only ten people in each area
Indoor sport can start again for 18 and unders
Ceremonies: 20 people will be allowed inside for religious ceremonies, with 50 permitted outside – with the same applying to funerals, but not to weddings
Entertainment: Community spaces such as libraries, RSLs and play centres as well as cinemas, galleries, museums and theatres can have up to 20 indoors, with groups of up to ten
Music halls and various indoor entertainment venues can also reopen – including casinos with up to ten people per room
Aged care: Visits are also allowed once per day and for up to two hours, with the time limit for partners to visit maternity wards also scrapped
From 11.59pm on November 22:
Socialising: Victorians will be allowed ten people round to their house, regardless of their household bubble
Hospitality: All hospitality venues including bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed 100 customers indoors and 200 outside
Entertainment: Cinemas, theatres and galleries will also be allowed 100 patrons
Beauty lovers will be allowed to take off their masks in salons, meaning the resumption of facial appointments
Casino caps will also be raised to 100 people
Sports: At gyms, 100 people will now be allowed with maximum groups of ten – signalling the start of group exercise classes
Ceremonies: Wedding limits will shoot up to 100 people, as well as for funerals and other religious ceremonies
The low case numbers prompted New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian to announce her state would open its border to Victoria on November 23 (pictured, Melbourne on Saturday)
Gyms and fitness facilities will reopen with a cap of 20 people while restaurants, hotels and cafes will be allowed to seat more patrons.
The outdoor cap will be raised to 70 people while the indoor dining limit will be lifted from ten to 40 people.
Funerals will now be allowed to cater to 20 mourners indoors and 50 mourners outdoors.
Faith gatherings will also be allowed to have 50 people, plus a faith leader, outdoors and 20 people, plus a faith leader, indoors.
Mr Andrews’ announcement coincided with the state’s ninth straight day without a new COVID-19 case.
The 14-day rolling average for daily cases in Melbourne sits at 0.4.
The low case numbers prompted New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian to announce her state would open its border to Victoria on November 23.
But Queensland could close their borders to NSW yet again if they deem the open border with Victoria to be too much of a risk.
The newfound freedoms come as a bittersweet moment for Victorians who have endured harsh lockdown to beat the second outbreak of COVID-19.
Aged care bore the brunt of the second wave, with 650 of Victoria’s 819 coronavirus deaths related to the homes.
Epping Gardens, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, had 38 deaths while St Basil’s Homes of the Aged had 44 deaths.
At least two Melbourne aged care facilities are facing lawsuits over virus fatalities.
All hospitality venues including bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes will be allowed 100 customers indoors and 200 outside from November 22 (pictured, Melbourne bar on Oct 28)
From midnight Sunday, households can still only have two visitors at a time, but they can be from two different households and bring their children – heralding the start of family parties
The Department of Health and Human Services called it a significant achievement when it announced no active cases were linked to the centres on Thursday.
‘Late yesterday, the last remaining active case of COVID-19 linked to an aged care facility outbreak in Victoria was cleared,’ the DHHS said in a statement.
‘The clearance of this final active case represents a significant achievement in Victoria’s response to the second wave of this pandemic.’
As Victorians get set to enjoy more freedoms, Mr Andrews has encouraged residents to holiday at home.
Though his advice hit a snag with a popular Christmas destination off-limits for camping until next February.
Mornington Peninsula Shire has postponed foreshore camping for the bulk of the summer.
The reserves in Rosebud, Rye and Sorrento are major summer holiday spots.
Shire chief executive John Baker said it was not feasible to allow camping, given the ongoing health guidelines.
‘One of our major concerns is the transmission risk from people having to use the shared toilet and shower amenity blocks,’ he said.
‘This approach is consistent with the chief health officer’s advice which has underpinned our decision.’
Wedding limits will shoot up to 100 people from November 22 (pictured, a Melbourne wedding on October 26 with the current ten person limit)
The Shire added it would give an update in January about reopening camping areas and Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said her department would speak to them about the decision.
‘We do want to encourage the Mornington Shire Council and will continue to do that,’ she said.
A second COVID-19 wave hit Victoria in July, caused in large part by Melbourne’s bungled hotel quarantine program.
The disaster began when private security guards were contracted by the government to man returned travellers at Victoria’s quarantine hotels, rather than Australian Defence Force personnel.
Dozens of security guards were caught sleeping on the job and fraternising with guests who were meant to be isolating.
Quarantine breaches involving private security guards led to 99 per cent of the state’s second wave, with 819 dead in the state to date.
On July 6, the Victoria-NSW border closed for the first time in a century as the southern state hit a record 127 new cases.
The following day, a record 191 cases prompted metro Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire to again be placed into stage-three lockdown, before being tightened to stage four on August 2.
Melburnians and Mitchell Shire residents were banned from leaving their homes unless for work, ] shopping for essentials, exercise or care giving.