Premier outlines timeline for easing state restrictions

PREMIER Daniel Andrews has announced a timeline for the further easing of restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From tomorrow – in line with the return to face-to-face learning in school – outdoor playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor communal gym equipment will reopen.

From 11.59pm Sunday, people will be able to have a total of 20 people in their home.

For a family of five, that means 15 visitors.

Outdoor gatherings can also increase to 20. Overnight stays can resume at private residences and tourist accommodation, including camping grounds and caravan parks.

Up to 20 people will be allowed at weddings, plus the celebrant and couple, and up to 50 people will be allowed at funerals, in addition to those required to conduct the ceremony.

Up to 20 will be allowed at other religious ceremonies, in addition to those required to perform the service.

Libraries, youth centres and other community facilities will be able to open with no more than 20 people in a single area, plus those needed to operate the space.

That means men’s sheds and arts and crafts classes can resume.

From 11.59pm Sunday, entertainment and cultural venues like galleries, museums, drive-in cinemas and historic sites will be able to open their doors, alongside zoos and outdoor amusement parks.

Physical distancing and a limit of up to 20 patrons per space will apply, and indoor venues will need to keep customer contact details.

Swimming pools will also open with limits of 20 people and additional safety requirements in place.

Community sporting activities will also be permitted with up to 20 people in undivided spaces, provided the sport is outdoors, non-competition, non-contact, and people are able to play 1.5 metres apart.

Beauty and personal care services like nail salons, spas, and tattoo parlours will be able to open with up to 20 customers per space – with customer contact details required to be kept.

Auctions and ‘open for inspections’ will also be subject to the 20-person limit – plus those required to conduct the activity – with agents also required to keep the contact details of everyone who attends.

Non-food and drink market stalls will also be able to open from 11.59pm Sunday.

If community transmission rates continue to remain low and testing rates continue to remain high, the government will look to further relax restrictions from June 22.

From that date, indoor fitness and recreation facilities will open with up to 20 people per space and up to 10 people per group or activity at any one time.

Up to 50 people will be permitted in restaurants, caf├ęs, galleries, museums and for the first time, cinemas and theatres.

The ski season will open June 22.

All eased restrictions and the proposed dates are subject to the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the continued and effective management of the spread of COVID-19

People are being urged to maintain good hygiene, keeping their distance from others and to stay home if they feel unwell.

Mr Andrews said people with cold and flu-like symptoms should get tested, no matter how mild the symptoms.

He said people who could work from home must work from home to avoid people gathering in office spaces and using shared facilities.

Mr Andrews said venues like nightclubs would be among the last to open because of the difficulties in maintaining physical distancing.

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