Daniel Andrews announces MAJOR changes to coronavirus restrictions

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 
  • Funerals can now have 20 mourners indoors and 50 mourners outdoors
  • The eased restrictions will come into effect from Sunday at 11.59pm  
  • From November 22 hospitality venues can hold 100 inside and 200 outside
  • Victorians will be allowed 10 visitors to their home and 50 for public gatherings

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced major changes to COVID-19 restrictions on cinemas, play centres and museums. 

From 11.59pm on Sunday, libraries, galleries, cinemas and museums will be allowed to hold 20 people per venue. From November 22, the limit will increase to 100 people. 

Gaming machines will be allowed 10 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 to have 10 visitors to their home, while public gatherings will be limited to 50 people. 

Hospitality venues will be able to hold 100 patrons 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)

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)

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)

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)

The newfound freedoms come as a bittersweet moment for Victorians who have endured harsh lockdown to beat the second outbreak of COVID-19 (pictured, Melbourne on Saturday)

The newfound freedoms come as a bittersweet moment for Victorians who have endured harsh lockdown to beat the second outbreak of COVID-19 (pictured, Melbourne on Saturday)

Changes from November 22 at 11.59pm 

Restaurants and bars: 100 inside and 200 outside

10 people allowed in your house

100 people allowed in gyms in groups of 20

Indoor pools allowed to hold 50 people, outdoor pools have no cap

100 people can attend weddings 

Cinemas, theaters open to maximum 100 people

Libraries open to 100 people 

End of state of disaster – but state of emergency extended to December 6

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‘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 like 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 a huge easing of restrictions at midnight on Sunday, including 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.

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.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he was optimistic the changes would go ahead, and is even due to announce more restrictions in his press conference on Sunday.

‘Sunday is going to be an important day, we’re on track to make some significant announcements,’ he said.

‘I can’t predict what will be announced other than what we’ve already outlined. We’re well on track to do all of those things.’

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.

Gyms will reopen with a cap of 20 people inside from Sunday at 11.59pm

Gyms will reopen with a cap of 20 people inside from Sunday at 11.59pm

Premier Daniel Andrews said he was optimistic the changes would go ahead with the possibility of lifting more restrictions (pictured, Melburnians on the Yarra on Saturday)

Premier Daniel Andrews said he was optimistic the changes would go ahead with the possibility of lifting more restrictions (pictured, Melburnians on the Yarra on Saturday)

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. 

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.

The outdoor cap for bars will be raised to 70 people while the indoor dining limit will be lifted from ten to 40 people

The outdoor cap for bars 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

Funerals will now be allowed to cater to 20 mourners indoors and 50 mourners outdoors

The widely-hated travel restriction between Melbourne and regional Victoria will be lifted and the 25km travel radius scrapped

The widely-hated travel restriction between Melbourne and regional Victoria will be lifted and the 25km travel radius scrapped

‘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.’

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.

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