Freedom at last! Victoria to enjoy huge new lifting of coronavirus restrictions starting TODAY – here’s everything you need to know about Melbourne’s lockdown easing
- 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
- Daniel Andrews is to announce another ‘major’ easing of rules on Sunday
Victoria is set to reap the benefits of relaxed coronavirus restrictions from Sunday at midnight, with going to the gym and travelling to regional areas among the changes.
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.
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 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 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.
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)
Changes coming to Melbourne at midnight
Premier Daniel Andrews has promised more restrictions will be eased in Victoria as the state reported six consecutive days of zero new cases.
The following restrictions are set to be eased from 11.59pm on November 8:
1) Melbourne’s 25 kilometre travel limit will be scrapped.
2) Gyms will reopen with a cap of 20 people inside.
3) Hospitality venues will be able to seat 70 people outside. The cap on indoor dining will also be raised from 10 to 40 people.
4) Funerals will now be allowed to cater to 20 mourners inside and 50 mourners outside.
5) Religious gatherings may have 20 people indoors and 50 people, plus a religious leader, outside.
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.
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
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
‘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.