The hard work of the long lockdown has finally paid off and the restrictions in Melbourne are being eased again starting today. Further changes are expected from November 9th.
Here are some of the questions you asked that we can answer.
What are the main changes?
From todayThe four reasons for leaving home have been discarded so you can leave home for whatever reason.
People are also allowed to visit their homes, but limited to a maximum of two adults plus members of another household once a day.
Retail, hospitality, beauty and personal services are allowed to open.
For the first time in months, hospitality businesses can accommodate people inside and outside of borders.
There are also easing restrictions on funerals, which allow a maximum of 20 mourners.
Weddings are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
Indoor religious gatherings are limited to 10 inside and 20 outside, plus one faith leader.
The 25 kilometer long travel zone and the “ring of steel” around the regional Victoria are will be unloaded on November 8th from 11:59 p.m.
Can I visit my parents, sisters, brothers or best friends?
Yes you can, as long as you live within 15 miles of your home.
Home visits can include two people plus loved ones (Children or an elderly person for example), but there can only be “visitor events” per household and day.
It will be difficult there. Let’s say a friend is visiting her kids for lunch. After that visit, the two of you had your only home visit for that day and you will not be able to visit anyone that day.
We ask the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to clarify whether intimate partners are considered visitors for the purposes of this rule.
Can my kids have a game with friends?
Yes, they can, but no one in the family can visit anyone on that day after that date.
For example, if you have a whole tribe of teenagers, catching up with a kid with a friend means no one in the family can visit anyone else that day.
It can be helpful to set up a roster.
The simple solution? Meet outside. It’s safer, everyone is wearing masks and more people can join.
Up to 10 people can come together and the number of households that can come is unlimited.
Can I now travel outside the 25 km zone to visit family and friends?
No. The 25 km zone is expected to be dropped from November 9th and then you can go anywhere you want.
Until then, you must stay within that 25 km zone even if you plan to visit a family, which is allowed under today’s rules.
How should I train with a mask?
The gyms in regional Victoria are reopening today, with Melbourne to join them on November 9th.
But you can only have one person per 8 square meters.
The official advice is that masks should be worn whenever possible. It’s a risky environment and when more people wear masks there is more protection.
The DHHS gave us two examples: when you run on a treadmill you may not wear a mask, but you do wear a mask when doing bench weights or pilates.
Can I get my eyebrows, get a laser, or get a tattoo?
Yes. Beauty services, including tattoos, can reopen, but customers must wear a mask throughout the procedure.
Ok i have to go to work Can I carpool?
First of all, you should work from home and study at home if possible.
If you have to go to work, such as in hospitality or retail, don’t carpool.
Mr Andrews said at the press conference on Tuesday that carpooling is discouraged.
Can I go to a bar, pub or dinner?
Yes, yes and yes!
A maximum of 20 people (maximum 10 per room) can be accommodated in bars and restaurants, if the density requires this.
Outside there is a cap of 50 guests per venue, depending on density requirements.
Live music is permitted outdoors, with the band included within the event boundaries.
Mr Andrews said people could get up “ASAP” and have a drink at a bar, but for now all patrons must remain seated.
He said low numbers would make it possible to increase numbers in and out of the venues, “whether it’s a pot at the bar or if you can sit in a larger crowd to watch the cricket”.
These limits will change again on November 9th.
Good luck with your reservation.
How do you define separate spaces in restaurants and other venues?
Mr Andrews said temporary walls could be used to create separate rooms in a restaurant dining room, for example.
They can be full-height walls or temporary walls, but must be up to 2.1 meters high.
What they don’t want is two groups of 10 people that essentially become a group of 20, as indoor gatherings are much more dangerous than outdoor gatherings.
Market stalls, auction houses and other retail stores?
They are all open.
Food Courts – Are They Opening?
Many retailers are only open for takeout, but as of today there is limited indoor and outdoor seating.
Only two people are allowed per table, it must be cleaned regularly and the capacity of the venue is limited according to a density quotient or 25 percent of normal capacity.
Outdoor food courts can have a maximum of 10 per group and a total of 50 people in four separate areas (200 people).
Can I go to the cinema or the casino?
There is still no word on when cinemas will be allowed to reopen – it will happen, but the prime minister said now is not the time.
He said outdoor cinemas would likely open first.
Crown Casino is the state’s largest employer and Andrews said he wanted to open it asap.
Some hospitality will be open both inside and outside the casino.
Mr Andrews said the play floor would open when it was safe – but gave no indication of when it could be.
School is back – what about graduation?
Graduations are permitted for students in 6th and 12th grade if this applies to the entire cohort of 6th grade, not to individual grades. Only students and staff can participate – parents are not allowed.
What happens on November 9th?
The Prime Minister promises to give us more details about what Christmas will be like in terms of meeting family and friends and how we can relax the restrictions further November 8, ahead of the expected easing of restrictions at 11:59 p.m. that night.
On that day, metropolitan Melbourne’s restrictions will be brought into line with those in the Victoria region, and the entire state will have the same restrictions.
Masks, international air travel and other questions we can’t answer yet
If you are worried Wearing masks during a long, hot Australian summerWe have bad news.
Masks are with us for now. We will wear them in the New Year, the prime minister said, because although they are uncomfortable, they offer protection.
Mr Andrews is also asked almost every day When will Victoria accept international travelers? and his answer is – he doesn’t know.
He is waiting for the results of the COVID-19 hotel quarantine investigation, which is due to be transmitted on November 6th.
The Prime Minister argues that there is no point in pushing the new hotel quarantine system if the investigation is to recommend changes in wholesale.
And limits – Everyone wants to travel between statesincluding Mr Andrews who quipped that he wanted to play golf in Tasmania this year.
But it is all up to the individual state and territory governments to make a decision.
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