Lockdown will end in regional Victoria tonight

Illustration of Influenza Virus H1N1. Swine Flu.

THE lockdown in regional Victoria will be lifted at 11.59pm tonight, in a surprise move by the state government.
There have been no new coronavirus cases in regional Victoria and thousands of primary close contacts have been cleared from the regions during the last few weeks.
Premier Daniel Andrews said while authorities continued to get on top of the outbreak in Melbourne, minimal primary close contacts and no new cases meant the settings could be eased in regional Victoria.
The Chief Health Officer today advised that the five reasons to leave the home could be removed in regional Victoria, and there will be no limit on the distance regional Victorians could travel from home.
However, people will only be able to travel to Melbourne for permitted reason, and must follow the Melbourne restrictions once there.
Importantly, private gatherings in the home are still not permitted.
However, outdoor gatherings in public spaces can occur with up to 10 people.
Face masks will continue to be mandatory indoors and outdoors.
Food and hospitality will open for seated service only.
A density requirement of one person per four square metres will apply, with a maximum of 100 people per venue.
Venues smaller than 100 square metres can have up to 25 people before density requirements apply.
Retail can also open and personal services such as beauty and tattooing can resume.
Face masks can be removed where required for the service to be performed.
Religious gatherings and ceremonies are allowed, with density requirements of one person per four square metres, and no more than 100 people total indoors and 300 people outdoors per venue.
Weddings and funerals are also able to have up to 50 people at a venue.
This limit doesn’t include infants aged under 12 months, or the people required to conduct the service.
Community sport is open for all ages, including training and competition.
Only the minimum number of participants (players, coaches, referees, officials, and carers or parents) needed to train or compete are permitted to attend, subject to a density quotient of one person per four square metres.
Spectators are not permitted.
Entertainment venues can have up to 300 people per outdoor space with a density requirement of one person per four square metres and a cap of 100 people per space indoors.
All entertainment facilities are required to have a COVID check-in marshal to monitor patrons checking-in with the Service Victoria app.
While stay at home orders remain in metropolitan Melbourne, the state government said it needed to ensure the virus did not travel into regional Victoria.
Businesses that are open in regional Victoria but closed in Melbourne – restaurants for dine-in service or beauty for example – must check the IDs of everyone they serve.
Health authorities say all regional Victorians need to continue with their COVID-safe behaviours – most importantly to get tested immediately if they have any symptoms at all and get vaccinated if it’s their turn.
Mr Andrews said the outbreak was an important reminder that “until more Australians are vaccinated, we cannot afford complacency to creep in – we must stay safe to stay open”.
Health Minister Martin Foley said Victoria’s open access system was vaccinating more people than any other state or territory.
“ … we’re continuing to ask Victorians – if you’re eligible please get vaccinated – it’s our only pathway out of the pandemic.”
Eligible Victorians can book in at one of 50 open access sites across the state, through a Commonwealth clinic or their trusted GP.
To book a vaccination at one of Victoria’s state-run clinics visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au/book-your-vaccine-appointment.