Covid Victoria restrictions explained: new coronavirus rules for Melbourne and regional Vic

·4 min read
<span>Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Victoria has announced a further easing of Covid restrictions across the state, the next step in the slow relaxation of social distancing laws following Melbourne’s 14-day “circuit-breaker” lockdown.

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The following coronavirus rules apply in greater Melbourne and regional Victoria and are expected to be in place for at least two weeks from 11:59pm Thursday 24 June.

When can I leave my house?

People in Melbourne and regional Victoria can leave home for any reason.

How far can I travel from home?

There are no restrictions on travel around the state. While it is no longer mandated that anyone going to regional Victorian Alpine Resorts must have had a negative Covid test result within 72 hours to enter the ski field, it is still recommended.

What are the rules for exercise?

There is no time limit on outdoor exercise. Group exercise is limited to groups of 50 people. Gyms are also open with a capacity limit of one person per 4 sq metres.

Community sport is open for all ages, with a maximum venue capacity of 300 people at indoor venues and 1,000 people outdoors.

Crowd limits of one person per 4 sq metres apply in Melbourne. For outdoor spaces in regional Victoria, this can be increased to one per 2 sq metres, as long as there is a designated Covid-19 marshal present.

What are the rules for wearing face masks?

Masks must be carried at all times and worn indoors except for in your home – unless you have a medical exemption.

Masks no longer need to be worn outdoors unless 1.5m of physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Can I have visitors to my house?

Victorians are allowed to have up to 15 visitors per day in their homes, and infants under 12 months old do not count towards this total. There is now no difference in the rules between metropolitan and regional Victoria.

Related: Covid travel restrictions: where you can and can’t go within Australia – and to New Zealand

Can I travel interstate?

Each state and territory is updating guidance on travel rules individually:

New Zealand has also resumed quarantine-free travel from Victoria.

What about public gatherings?

Public, outdoor gatherings up to 50 people are allowed throughout Victoria.

What is happening with schools?

Schools in Melbourne and regional Victoria have resumed face-to-face learning for all students.

Childcare, early learning centres and kindergartens are open.

Higher education students are also allowed to return to campus, subject to density limits.

Can I dine in at a restaurant or cafe?

Cafes, restaurants and pubs are open for seated service and take away only – with strict safety measures like density limits and QR codes in place.

Across Victoria, smaller venues can have up to 25 before the density limit of one person per 4 sq metres applies.

From then, venues in regional Victoria can increase the density limit from one person per 4 sq metres to one person per 2 sq metres, but only if they have a designated Covid-19 check-in marshall.

In greater Melbourne, only venues of less than 600 sq metres can increase the density limit to one person per 2 sq metres, and there is also a cap on 150 people. Again a Covid-19 check-in marshall is required.

Food courts are allowed to operate around the state, but a limit of one person per 2 sq metres applies both indoors and outdoors.

Are the shops open?

In Melbourne retail is open with a density of one person per 4 sq metres, in regional Victoria it is one per 2 sq metres (as long as a designated Covid-19 check-in marshall is present). All retail venues can have up to 25 patrons before the check-in limit applies.

Across Victoria all venues are now required to make people sign in to the Service Vic QR code app.

What about weddings, funerals and religious services?

Weddings throughout Victoria are limited to 300 people subject to venue density limits. Dance floors are not permitted.

Funerals are limited to 300 mourners, plus those required to conduct the service, subject to venue density limits.

What about aged care and hospitals?

Visitors are allowed to return to aged care across Victoria. Up to two visitors at a time, and up to five per day, are permitted – except for end of life visits, where there is no total limit per day.

Hospitals will follow the same rules.

Can I go and get vaccinated?

Yes. The Victorian government has expanded the eligibility to include those aged between 40-49 for state-operated vaccination sites. People in this category can now call the hotline on 1800 675 398 or go online to book an appointment.

What about heading back to the office?

The requirement to work from home has been removed. Offices can return to 75% capacity, or up to 30 people if the total workforce is 40 people or less.

In Melbourne offices are subject to density quotients of one person per 4 sq metres, in Regional Victoria this is increased to 2sq metres per person.

  • Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is regularly updated to ensure it reflects the current situation at the date of publication. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.

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