New Victoria Covid restrictions: update to Melbourne lockdown, curfew and regional Vic coronavirus rules explained

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

Covid restrictions across Victoria will change again from Friday 22 October when Melbourne’s lockdown will end after the state reaches a full vaccination rate of 70%.

In metropolitan Melbourne, from Friday curfew will end and there will be no more travel limits (although travel to regional Victoria will still not be permitted). There will no longer be only six reasons you can leave your home. Home visits with restrictions will be allowed and hospitality businesses will reopen. All students will attend classrooms part-time.

In regional Victoria, restrictions will ease further still, with all students returning to school. The Victorian roadmap to freedom, updated on Sunday 17 October, can be found here.

In summary, from Friday 22 October, in metropolitan Melbourne:

  • Reasons to leave home and curfew no longer in place.

  • 10 people, including dependants, can visit a home each day.

  • 15 people can gather outdoors.

  • Pubs, clubs and entertainment venues can open to 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors.

  • Funerals and weddings allow for 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 fully vaccinated outdoors.

  • All students to return to school at least part-time.

  • Hairdressing and beauty salons to open for up to five fully vaccinated people at a time.

When 80% of Victoria’s adult population is fully vaccinated, which is forecast to occur in the first week of November, restrictions will ease again.

But until the milestones are met, the current restrictions still apply, and they can be found in this table and below.

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When can I leave my house?

There are six reasons to leave your house in metropolitan Melbourne and Mildura (which has had its lockdown extended until 21 October).

These are:

  • Shopping for essentials.

  • Authorised work, if you cannot work from home, or education.

  • Exercise for up to four hours.

  • Caregiving, compassionate and medical reasons.

  • To get vaccinated.

  • For limited outdoor social interaction.

One person may meet another person not from their household for a picnic, a walk, or another outdoor activity. Additionally, up to five adults (plus dependants) from two households will be able to gather outdoors if all adults present have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Child-minding for school-age children will be permitted if only one parent is an authorised worker.

Up to five people are able to attend an entertainment venue or physical recreation facility to broadcast a performance, class, or concert.

Real estate inspections will resume by appointment only. To ensure they’re CovidSafe, only people from the same household can attend the inspection appointment and the real estate agent must stay outdoors during the inspection.

Essential workers who can’t work from home need to get a permit to go to work.

Can I go out at night?

People in metropolitan Melbourne must stay home between 9pm and 5am. The curfew is not in place for regional Victorian local government areas under lockdown orders.

How far can I travel from home?

The distance you can leave home for shopping for necessary goods and services, exercise and outdoor social interaction is 15km in metropolitan Melbourne and Mildura.

What are the rules for exercise?

In Melbourne and Mildura public gathering limits apply for outdoor recreation facilities. Contactless exercise is allowed, as is outdoor personal training with up to five people, as long as they and the trainer are all vaccinated.

What are the rules for wearing face masks?

Masks must be still worn everywhere except for in your home. This includes both indoor places and outdoor areas – unless you have a medical exemption. It also applies to all workplaces and secondary schools.

In regional Victoria, masks may be removed in hairdressing and beauty salons if the service requires it.

It is recommended all primary-school-age children wear masks indoors and outside, except when at home or if an exception applies.

Is regional Victoria included?

The restrictions in regional Victoria (except for Mildura) are less strict. The full details on regional restrictions are here.

Can I have visitors to my house?

No, visitors to homes in Victoria are not allowed, other than an intimate partner, or a nominated person for someone who lives alone.

Can I travel interstate?

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

What about the Victoria-NSW border bubble?

People living in border communities with NSW are able to travel without a permit.

What about if I live in Victoria, but I’m in NSW and want to return home?

Victorian residents stranded in NSW who are fully vaccinated can return home without quarantining. This also applies to non-Victorian residents who wish to come to the state from NSW. Details here.

What about public gatherings?

In regional Victoria, excluding locked down local government areas, funerals can have 20 people attend and weddings will be allowed to hold up to 10 people, plus those needed to conduct the service. However stricter limits remain in place for weddings and funerals with people from Melbourne in attendance.

What is happening with schools?

Childminding for school-age children will be permitted if only one parent is an authorised worker.

Schools have reopened for prep to year two and year 12 students in regional Victoria, excluding locked down local government areas.

Remote learning will remain for all other levels. Vulnerable children and the children of essential workers will still be able to access onsite supervision. Higher education has also switched to remote learning.

Childcare centres and kindergartens are still open, but only for vulnerable children, or the children of authorised workers if they cannot work from home or if no supervision is available at home. Allowed in-home care, such as babysitters, has been expanded to include school-age children, but only if both parents are authorised workers.

Single parents in Melbourne are able to access childcare, regardless of whether they are an authorised worker.

Can I dine in at a restaurant or cafe?

In regional Victoria (excluding Mildura), restaurants and cafes can open for seated service with a maximum of 30 outdoors and 10 indoors, depending on density limits.

Patron caps will also apply to retail, hairdressing, entertainment venues and community facilities.

Businesses will be required to check IDs of everyone they serve, to ensure they are from the regional Victoria area. Density requirements apply.

Are the shops open?

In Melbourne, essential retail, such as supermarkets and chemists, will remain open. Other stores are closed.

What about weddings, funerals and religious services?

Funerals will be able to go ahead indoors and outdoors with up to 10 people, plus those required to conduct the funeral.

Weddings are not allowed, unless end of life or other exceptional circumstances apply.

People involved in producing religious broadcasts must be the same group of people each time.

What about aged care and hospitals?

No visitors are allowed at aged care facilities except for limited reasons. There will be no visitors to hospitals allowed except for end of life, if you’re a partner during the birth of your child, or a parent accompanying a child.

When do I have to isolate?

For people living in Victoria, only those with Covid-19 or who are identified as a primary close contact for someone with Covid-19 will have to isolate for 14 days.

Secondary close contacts do not have to isolate or get tested unless they have symptoms.

Where a primary contact shares a household, those secondary contacts in the same household do not need to isolate, so long as the primary contact is isolating away from the rest of the household.

  • 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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