What does stage three mean?

STAGE three ‘stay at home’ restrictions came back into force for regional Victorians on Thursday, but with some important changes.

Until September 13, regional Victorians are not allowed to leave home unless for one of four reasons: caregiving (including babysitting and aged care visits); exercise; study and work; and shopping for food and essential items.

In addition, all Victorians must wear face masks when out of home unless aged under 12 or for medical reasons, and must keep at least 1.5 metres away from others, unless from the same household or an intimate partner.

Visits to private homes are not allowed, unless it is for caregiving or compassionate reasons.

Victoria Police can issue on-the-spot fines to individuals of $1652 and $9913 for business who fail to comply with emergency directions, a public health risk direction, or a public health risk direction to provide information.

People without a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask can be fined $200.

A fine of $4,957 can be issued to a person who is found to breach the requirement to be self-isolating for a second or subsequent time.

Restrictions for regional areas in more detail include:

All students return to remote learning and schools will only remain open for vulnerable students or the children of emergency workers.

Specialist schools, childcare and kindergartens remain open to all children.

Students aged over 12 must wear face masks.

Educators are not required to wear face coverings while in the classroom or providing care.

Playgroups are closed.

Universities, TAFEs and colleges should provide remote learning opportunities where possible.

For on-campus learning, students and staff must wear face masks, and spaces must be planned for physical distancing.

Libraries and community venues can stay open for essential services.

Shopping centres, markets and other retailers can remain open, but are subject to density rules per square metre, and shoppers must socially distance by 1.5 metres.

Can offer take away and delivery only.

Food courts are closed but caf├ęs inside food courts can offer take away and delivery.

Pubs, clubs, bars and nightclubs are closed.

Bottle shops can remain open.

Indoor sports, including gyms, training facilities and pools are closed.

Community sport competition and training must stop.

People can only exercise with one other person or their household members, and must socially distance (1.5 metres).

Personal training can continue, but only with a maximum of two people, plus the trainer.

People must exercise and use recreational facilities closest to their home.

Anyone who can work from home must do so.

Those who have to go to work must socially distance from colleagues by 1.5 metres and adhere to strict hygiene practices, including sanitising hands.

People can leave home to do volunteer work.

Holidays are not a valid reason to leave home. If already on holidays, people can continue but must not attend attractions and must not extend their stay.

People cannot travel to a pre-booked holiday, and there is no overnight travel allowed unless for work or study, caregiving, medical care or to see an intimate partner.

No travel to a holiday house is allowed, unless to carry out essential maintenance or for one of the four reasons to leave home. People must choose one place as a principal place of residence for the duration of the stage three restrictions.

Going for a drive in regional Victoria is allowed, but people cannot leave their vehicle except for one of the four main reasons to leave home. Driving practice is allowed, but driving tests are not.

Taxis and rideshare can operate for people undertaking one of the four reasons to leave home. Physical distancing and hand hygiene must be maintained.

Public transport will still be available for people leaving home for one of the four reasons.

People from regional Victoria cannot travel to Melbourne unless for necessary goods and services, caregiving, compassionate grounds or permitted work, and must comply with stage four restrictions.

Inspections will be appointment only, and auctions can only be held remotely.

For more information, visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/restrictions-outside-restricted-postcodes-covid-19.