Victoria Covid restrictions: reopening rules for Melbourne, regional Vic, freedoms for vaccinated people – explained

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

Covid restrictions across Victoria changed from 6 PM, 29 October, after the state reached an 80% full vaccination rate.

Melbourne had endured 262 days, nearly nine months, of stay-at-home restrictions that went over 6 lockdowns since March 2020.

Now, restrictions are the same across Victoria for those who are vaccinated. The Victorian roadmap is here.

In summary, from 29 October:

  • No restrictions on travel around the state.

  • No masks outside.

  • People can return to work if fully vaccinated.

  • Outdoor public gatherings of 30 people allowed.

  • Gyms and retail reopen, subject to density limits.

  • Indoor and outdoor hospitality venue limits increase.

  • Indoor entertainment venues open at 75% capacity, as many as 1000 patrons.

  • Outdoor venues as many as 5000 patrons.

  • Indoor sport resume with density cap.

  • All schoolchildren back in classrooms full-time.

The state will abandon almost all restrictions from about 24 November, when it reaches the vaccination rate of 90% of people aged 12 and older. But restrictions on those who are unvaccinated are expected to continue throughout 2022.

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When can I leave my house?

As of 22 October, there are no restrictions on reasons to leave home and no curfew.

Can I go out at night?

Yes. The curfew for metropolitan Melbourne has been lifted.

How far can I travel from home?

Travel is no longer restricted, and people can move between Melbourne and regional Victoria freely.

What are the rules for exercise?

Gyms and indoor pools will open and community sport will be allowed both outdoors and indoors.

There are capacity limits for both indoor exercise of 1 person per 4sqm, up to 150 people, and outdoor exercise of 1 per 2 sqm, up to 500 people.

What are the rules for wearing face masks?

Masks are no longer required outside but are still mandatory inside. They are recommended outside when social distancing isn’t possible.

Can I have visitors to my house?

In Victoria, you can have 10 visitors including dependents in your home a day.

Groups of up to 30 people can gather outside inside. It is recommended visitors be fully vaccinated.

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?

Across Victoria groups of up to 30 people can gather outside.

What is happening with schools?

All students will return to full-time on-site learning in Victoria. This includes adult education in Melbourne.

Can I dine in at a restaurant or cafe?

There will be no caps on patrons in pubs and restaurants across Victoria, but at indoor venues there will be a 1 person per 4sqm density limit.

Most outdoor settings will remain at a 1 person per 2sqm, limit up to 500 people.

Entertainment venues will reopen. For indoor seated venues including cinemas and theatres, there will be a 75 per cent capacity or 1 person per 4sqm, up to 1,000 people.

For non-seated indoor entertainment venues, there will be a 1 person per 4sqm limit with no patron cap.

People will need to provide proof of their vaccination to enter premises.

Are the shops open?

Across Victoria, all retail will open from 6 PM, 29 October.

The government has allowed a month grace period for those shoppers who are not fully vaccinated.

Shoppers at non-essential retail stores will not be required to be fully vaccinated until 90 per cent of Victorians aged over 12 have received both jabs, which is estimated to happen by 24 November.

What about weddings, funerals and religious services?

Across the state weddings, funerals and religious services will be subject to indoor and outdoor density limits.

Caps of 30 people will apply for weddings, funerals and religious gatherings if vaccination status is unknown.

What about aged care and hospitals?

No visitors are allowed at aged care facilities except for limited reasons.

When do I have to isolate?

Close contacts who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and who don’t live in the same house as someone who has Covid-19 will only have to isolate for 7 days.

To be released, they will need to return negative test results from a test taken on day 6 of their quarantine.

A close contact is a person who has come into contact with someone who has Covid-19 (such as at work or a public exposure site) and has to quarantine.

Household and/or unvaccinated primary close contacts will still be required to isolate for 14 days. This includes children and people who have a medical exemption to Covid-19 vaccination.

  • 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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