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Find Out The Latest News On COVID Restrictions In Melbourne

By Ben Tyers
25th Oct 2020

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Stay up to date with our live list of the latest updates of restrictions around Melbourne.

Information is via vic.gov.au.

UPDATE: SUNDAY 25 October

Last Tuesday, Premier Daniel Andrews suggested that easing of restrictions could be brought forward to today, but with several outbreaks in Melbourne's north, Andrews today announced that restrictions could stay as they are until the originally planned date11:59pm on Sunday 1 November. 

Provided case numbers stay low, these are the changes expected to take place next Sunday:

  • Four reasons to leave home will be removed
  • Retail reopens
  • Hospitality reopens, 20 people inside, 50 people outside
  • Contact sport for U18 recommences
  • Non-contact sport for U18 recommences
  • Maximum of 10 people allowed at weddings
  • Maximum of 20 people allowed at funeral

Regional Victoria received better news, with further restrictions easing from Wednesday 1 November, including the reopening of gyms and fitness studios. More information can be found at vic.gov.au.

Update: Sunday 18 October

After more than 100 days in lockdown, Premier Daniel Andrews has today announced the following changes to the restrictions and rules that Victorians have had to live by.

These rules come into effect for Melbourne from 11:59pm Sunday 19 October.

  • There is no time limit for leaving your home for exercising or visiting others
  • Groups of ten people from two households can gather in an outdoor setting
  • The travel distance increases from 5km to 25km
  • Tennis courts, golf courses, skate parks reopen
  • Hairdressers reopen
  • Outdoor pools can have 30 swimmers
  • Indoor pools can open for one-on-one hydrotherapy sessions
  • Outdoor photography is now allowed

From 11:59pm Sunday 1 November

  • Four reasons to leave home will be removed
  • Retail reopens
  • Hospitality reopens, 20 people inside, 50 people outside
  • Contact sport for U18 recommences
  • Non-contact sport for U18 recommences
  • Maximum of 10 people allowed at weddings
  • Maximum of 20 people allowed at funerals

Further information can be found at vic.gov.au.

Update: Sunday 27 September

The Premier has announced the changes that will take place as of midnight tonight. Andrews also announced that we should be able to take the next step (lifting of 5km radius etc) from 19 October.

  • 130,000 workers will return to work, further information at vic.gov.au
  • VCE and VCAL students will return to school from October, Prep to Grade 6 will return to on-site learning from the week of 12 October
  • Child care is open for all children, 5km limit does not apply
  • Public gatherings outside are now at a level of 5 people, or two households gathering
  • The limit of one person going shopping per day is now lifted
  • One visitor allowed at hospitals for a maximum time of 2-hours
  • All dental services are now allowed, not just emergencies
  • Weddings permitted with a limit of five people, including the couple
  • Outdoor exercise facilities, such as tennis clubs, bowls clubs etc remain closed
  • Outdoor exercise (e.g hiking and fishing) is now permitted, within your 5km zone and for a maximum of 2-hours
  • Outdoor pools will reopen

More information at vic.gov.au.

Update: Monday 14 September

The first step toward 'COVID normal' happens from today, here's what changes as of today.

  • Curfew remains in place, but is now 9pm to 5am
  • Two people or a household can meet outdoors for a maximum of two hours for social interaction, exercise or recreation within 5km of their home
  • People living alone or single parents can nominate one person with whom they can form a ‘single social bubble’.  The ‘single social bubble’ allows you to visit each other for social connection.  Single parents with dependents (including young children) who cannot be left alone will be allowed to include the dependents in the bubble. If you live in metropolitan Melbourne you can only form a bubble with someone in metropolitan Melbourne, not regional Victoria
  • Childcare | Remains closed except for permitted workers
  • Schools | Remote learning continues unless an exemption applies
  • Outdoor recreation | Must be within 5km, all sport and recreation facilities closed, outdoor playgrounds open
  • Exercise | Outdoors, up to two hours per day total, split into a maximum of two sessions. You can exercise with one other person or members of your household

The government has published an FAQs page that you can read here.


Update: Sunday 6 September

Earlier today, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that stage 4 lockdown will stay in place for another two weeks after the initial date of Sunday 13 September, until at least Monday 28 September. There are, however, some changes to restrictions taking place from Sunday 13 September:

  • Two people or a household can meet for up to two hours of exercise. 
  • Those living alone can select one guest to have over or visit for the duration of lockdown
  • Playgrounds will reopen
  • The curfew will be extended to 9pm

A roadmap to a COVID-normal has also been released, with several checkpoints announced for the remainder of the year. If cases drop to an average of 30 to 50 cases for two weeks, further easing of restrictions will apply:

  • Public gatherings of up to 5 people from a maximum of two households will be allowed
  • Childcare will reopen 
  • Grades prep, one, two and years 10, 11 and 12 (VC/VCAL) to return to school
  • Some workplaces will reopen
  • Exercise with a personal trainer will be allowed

If there are less than five average daily cases for two weeks by Monday 26 October, the following changes will be made to restrictions:

  • The 9pm curfew will no longer apply​
  • You won’t need a reason to leave home
  • Gatherings at home will be extended to 5 people
  • Public gatherings will be extended to 10 people
  • Most retail will reopen
  • Hospitality will begin to return recommence with outdoor seating
  • Staged return to sport

If by Monday 23 November, Victoria records no new cases for two weeks, Melbourne will move to the final steps of reaching a COVID-normal. These include:

  • No restrictions to leaving home
  • Public gatherings of up to 50 will be allowed
  • Gatherings at home will be extended to 20 people
  • Hospitality will reopen for seated service
  • All retail will reopen with heightened safety restrictions
  • Contact sports will return with a phased approach
  • Gatherings, museums and other entertainment venues will reopen with some restrictions in place
  • Grades 3 to 10 will return to school, subject to public health advice

Regional Victoria will see some changes take effect on 11:59pm, Sunday 13 September. These include the reopening of some retail, public gatherings of up to five people and childcare returning. 

Find out more on Victorian's metropolitan and regional roadmaps here.

Update: Monday 24 August

Premier Daniel Andrews has reported this morning that Victoria's State Of Disaster could be in place for 12 months.

“The important thing here is that before September 13 ... will extend the state of emergency provisions within the Public Health and Well-Being Act for a maximum of 12 months,” said Andrews.

As with all rules and restrictions, such as the mandatory wearing of masks, this can be changed at any time.

“I think we are going to engage with all parties in the Victorian Parliament quite soon to talk about those changes and hopefully we can both have a very important agreement about how and when the Parliament sits and then we can have an orderly process to make those necessary changes,” Andrews stated.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos today announced that a new dashboard will be released today that will show virus hot spots, allowing Melburnians to keep track of any outbreaks in their local council area.

“People will be able to see, in their local area, whether there has been an exposure to a known case in their community,” said Mikakos.

Update: monday 3 August

Further announcements have been made on top of the stage 4 restrictions made public on Sunday 2 August.

The below outlines further clarifications around specific businesses:

  • Supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, news agencies, post offices, and everyone involved in frontline response will continue to operate
  • Industries, where onsite operations will have to cease for the next six weeks, include retail, some manufacturing, and administration. These will close at 11:59pm Wednesday 7 August
  • Retail stores can operate only under click-and-collect
  • Hardware stores will only be open to tradespeople
  • Construction sites will operate with a maximum of 25% of their normal workforce

With supermarkets and grocery stores remaining open, there is no need for panic buying.

Update: Sunday 2 August

Due to the high rate of community transmission, Premier Daniel Andrews has brought in new rules for Victorians to abide by.

The Premier has declared a State Of Disaster in Victoria from 6pm tonight.

New restrictions for Melbourne include:

  • You must stay within a 5km radius of your home when shopping
  • Only one person from your household can go out for essentials once per day
  • You must stay within a 5km radius of your home when exercising, and can only do so for one hour a day
  • From 8pm tonight a curfew will be implemented across metropolitan Melbourne. The curfew will be from 8pm until 5am every night. Exceptions include seeking care, or working

Supermarkets, butchers, bakers, bottle shops will all remain open.

New restrictions for regional Victoria include:

  • From midnight Wednesday 5 August, the rest of Victoria will move back to stage 3 stay-at-home restrictions

These rules will remain in place until Sunday 13 September at this stage.

Update: Tuesday 7 July

Melbourne will go back to stage 3 restrictions for a period of six weeks from midnight Wednesday 8 July.

The four reasons to leave your home apply once again:

  • For work or education when you can't do so at home
  • For care or compassionate reasons
  • To purchase groceries or essential items
  • Exercise outdoors

School holidays will continue for a further 5 days with the start of term 3 being pushed back. Further details will come this week on the resumption of school.

Restaurants and cafes will only be able to offer take away once again, this will impact many venues as some will once again have to close.

Read further information at premier.vic.gov.au.

Update: Monday 6 July

The Victoria/NSW border will close as of 11:59pm Tuesday 7 July.

The decision was made jointly by Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, NSW Premier Gladys Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

"We have – all of us – agreed that the best thing to do is to close the border," said Premier Andrews.

"That closure will be enforced on the NSW side, so as not to be a drain on resources that are very much focused on fighting the virus right now across our state.”

More details will be released later on Monday.

Update: Tuesday 30 June

"Hot spot" suburbs will revert to stage 3 lockdown as per an announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews today.

“These are extraordinary steps, these are not things we have had to do in the past but such is the nature of this virus, it is so wildly infectious that if we don’t take these steps now we will finish up in a situation than locking down ten postcodes we will be locking down every postcode,” Andrews said.

From 11:59pm Wednesday 1 July the following suburbs will revert to the four reasons to leave your home as indicated in the initial stage 3 lockdown:

  • 3012: Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, and West Footscray
  • 3021: Alban Vale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
  • 3032: Ascot Vale, High Point City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
  • 3038: Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
  • 3042: Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
  • 3046: Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
  • 3047: Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
  • 3055: Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
  • 3060: Fawkner
  • 3064: Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo

“There will only be four reasons that you are permitted to leave your house and only if you really have to,”

For work or school, for care or caregiving, for daily exercise, for food and other essentials. They are the acceptable reasons to leave, but only if you need to.” Andrews said.

Read the release here.

Update: Saturday 20 June

Unfortunately this week we've seen a spike in cases around Melbourne.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced today that some of the restrictions that were due to be eased from Monday 22 June will stay the same, and some will go back to previous levels.

"From 11:59pm on Sunday, the number of visitors you can have at your home will reduce to five. Outside the home, families and friends can meet in groups up to ten.  As we’ve seen across the world, this virus has the ability to turn a few cases into hundreds in a matter of days.

That’s why we also need to delay an increase to gathering limits in businesses and community facilities.

That means restaurants, pubs, auction halls, community halls, libraries, museums and places of worship—will all stay at a maximum of 20 people in any one space until 12 July. Businesses that were set to open on Monday like gyms, cinemas, theatres and TABs can do so—but again, only with a maximum of 20.

Community sport for kids and non-contact competition for adults can proceed as planned. Ski season and accommodation facilities with communal spaces will also open, but with increased screening and safeguards in place." said Premier Andrews.

Read the full media release here.

Update Sunday 14 June

Further restrictions will ease in Victoria from Monday 22 June.

Libraries, community centres, and halls will be able to open to 50 people. Religious ceremonies will now be permitted 50 people also.

Importantly, pubs in Melbourne will be allowed to have 50 seated patrons in the venue. And you'll be able to order beers without having a meal as well.

Read the full release from Premier Daniel Andrews here.

Update Friday 29 May

We've all heard that Melbourne restaurants, cafes, and bars will be reopening from Monday 1 June, but further advice was released by premier Daniel Andrews this morning.

From Monday 1 June there is no list of reasons to leave home, you can leave home for any reason. This is due to the great effort Victorians have gone to recently in staying safe and staying home when possible.

However, working from home is still a must in Victoria where possible.

"Some measures, though, must stay the same. One of the key things that won’t change is working from home. If you’re currently working from home—you must keep working from home.

By working from home, we limit the number of people moving around—and we limit the spread of this virus.

To date, we’ve left the ins and the outs of how this will work to Victorians and their employers.

But going forward—and in light of new evidence indicating increased activity—the obligation for employers to keep their staff working from home will now be included in the Chief Health Officer’s directions.

That means there will now be a clear and shared responsibility between workers and their bosses. For employees, that means an obligation to keep working from home. And for employers, an obligation to support them in doing so.

As we’ve said from the start, our actions will always be guided by evidence.

Right now, we can’t have the usual number of people on our trains, trams and buses—it just isn’t safe.

And we know that if just half the people who normally use public transport start driving to work, we will see our freeways and other major roads grind to a halt.

The number of people on the roads and the transport network is already starting to increase and we cannot let that creep continue.

If we do, then we’ll see commute times worse than anything any of us have ever experienced – two hours from Werribee to the city, 90 minutes from Reservoir and two and half hours from Mulgrave."

Read the full release here.

Update: Sunday 24 May

Earlier today, Premier Daniel Andrews made a statement which will see some lockdown laws in Victoria eased further beginning on Tuesday 26 May, with most rolling out at 11:59pm on Sunday 31 May.

“The whole way through this pandemic, our advice to Victorians has remained the same: “stay home”. Now, as we begin to settle into a new normal, our message is “stay safe”. That means maintaining your physical distance. Using common sense.

And as we ease restrictions, each of us playing our part to keep one another safe.” said Andrews.

The announcement includes the re-opening of public spaces such as outdoor gyms, skateparks and playgrounds, along with swimming pools and some campgrounds. More people will be allowed to attend significant ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, and cultural venues like museums, galleries and drive-in cinemas can operate under specific restrictions. 

For the time being, however, it’s still recommended that those who are able to work from home continue to do so.

The points from the Premier:

  • Outdoor gyms, playgrounds and skateparks will re-open from Tuesday 26 May
  • From 11:59pm on Sunday 31 May, you’ll be allowed a total of 20 people in your home
  • Outdoor gatherings will also increase to a total of 20 people
  • Overnight stays at private residences will be permitted
  • Overnight stays in accommodation will be permitted 
  • Campgrounds without communal facilities to re-open
  • Libraries, youth centres and community facilities to re-open with a maximum of 20 people, plus the people needed to operate the facilities
  • Cultural venues like galleries, museums, zoos, drive-in cinemas to re-open with a maximum of 20 people per space
  • Swimming pools to re-open with a maximum of 20 patrons and additional safety measures in place
  • Personal care businesses like salons and tattoo shops to reopen with up to 20 customers at one time
  • Auctions and open-house inspections to resume with a 20 person limit
  • Non-food and drink market stalls will be able to reopen

Read the full statement here.

Update: Sunday 17 May

Today Premier Daniel Andrews has made a statement regarding pubs, cafes, and restaurants.

"After smashing through our goal of 50,000 tests in the last week, the results of this data has given us the confidence we need to plan to slowly start lifting some more restrictions.

Today, and informed by the advice of the Chief Health Officer, I can announce our cautious and careful next steps.

The continuing low numbers of community transmission and the high rates of testing give us confidence that cafes, restaurants, pubs and other hospitality businesses can begin planning for a phased re-opening from the beginning of June.

From 1 June – cafes, restaurants and pubs will be able to reopen their doors to serve meals to up to 20 customers at a time per enclosed space.

From 22 June – this could increase to up to 50 patrons. During the second half of July, up to 100."

Read the full statement here.

Update: Monday 11 May

From 11:59pm Tuesday 12 May Victorians will be able to have 5 of their friends or family visit their home. Keeping it within a group of family and friends allows health services to trace the virus is another outbreak occurs.

Outdoor activities will also be permitted, no more than 10 people will be allowed to gather outdoors. Victorians will be allowed to hike, play footy, play golf, among other activities. All while remaining 1.5 metres apart.

Schools will not be going back just yet. Families have been told to expect that kids will not return to school as normal this term.

Melburnians can expect these rules to be in place for the rest of May.

The points from the Premier:

  • Outdoor gatherings being permitted with up to 10 people
  • Indoor gatherings at home are permitted, with 5 visitors able to visit the normal residents of a household
  • The ability to leave the house for exercise will be expanded to include outdoor recreational activities. These activities can occur in groups of up to 10 people outside, but the requirements on physical distancing remain
  • For weddings 10 guests are allowed, plus the couple and the celebrant
  • For funerals, 20 people will be allowed at an indoor ceremony and 30 people at an outside ceremony. This is in addition to the minimum people required to conduct the funeral
  • Religious gatherings and ceremonies will be permitted with up to 10 people, plus those required to perform the ceremony

Update: Friday 8 May

Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference on Friday 8 May to discuss the expected three-stage plan to get back to a normal economy by July.

The stages states and territories will take can be seen in the plan below, each state and territory taking the next step as they see fit. Stages will be reviewed every three weeks.

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that Victoria's restrictions will remain in place until at least Monday, after Mother's Day.

"This morning we had a very good national cabinet meeting," Mr Andrews said.

"Whilst I welcome the overall pathway, I also welcome the commentary from the Prime Minister that what is done and when ... is fundamentally a matter for state and territories. The rules remain in place until Monday."

Update: Monday 4 April

Most Melburnians have spent the last month or more mostly in isolation.

With four hard and fast rules to adhere to, Victorians have done a great job in helping curb the spread of coronavirus and flatten the curve.

All this points to a time when the lockdown rules begin to ease, but when will the lockdown end in Melbourne?

At this point, there is no firm date as to when restrictions might start to be rolled back.

Premier Daniel Andrews spoke about rules on 20 April.

"I don't think it is possible to have cafes, restaurants and bars open anytime soon," Mr Andrews said.

"There are opportunities for some of those recreational activities that people are not able to partake in, maybe we can change some of those rules.

"But I don't want to speculate too much. These numbers are not an invitation for us to simply remove all the rules.

"They're a validation our strategy is working. It is challenging but it is working."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that lockdown rules will be in place until at least mid-May. With states to ultimately determine what happens after that.

It looks like take away and delivery from our favourite restaurants and cafes will be the norm for a while, we've got a live list of what's available around Melbourne here.

Image credit: Linda Xu

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