Lockdown lifted for regional Victoria after no new cases

·News Editor
·3-min read

Coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in regional Victoria after no new cases were recorded from outside the Greater Melbourne area.

Three new cases emerged overnight from Melbourne, bringing the total community cases to 63.

Residents outside of metropolitan Melbourne will be able to leave home for any reason after 11.59pm on Thursday, Acting Premier James Merlino has confirmed.

“That means lifting the stay-at-home and travel restrictions,” he told reporters.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 10: A woman wears a face mask while she waits for a COVID-19 test outside the Sunbury Respiratory Clinic on February 10, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Victorians have been warned to remain on alert for coronavirus symptoms following new COVID-19 cases detected in the community linked to the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel. All residents have now been moved to another quarantine hotel while health authorities deep clean the Holiday Inn and investigate the source of transmission. (Photo by Diego Fedele/Getty Images)
Restrictions in regional Victoria will be lifted from midnight tonight. Source: AAP

“All year levels and students will return to face-to-face schooling. Public gatherings, catching up at a park or a beach, will be increased to 10 people. Restaurants and cafes can open to a maximum of 50.

"Retail, beauty and personal care, entertainment venues and community facilities will open in line with density limits. Religious ceremonies and funerals will be capped at 50. Weddings at 10. We will move to work or study from home if you can, and offices will be capped at 50 per cent.”

Despite most restrictions being lifted, several rules are still in place, including the compulsory use of masks indoors and outdoors when social distancing isn't possible.

Restrictions are still in place for Greater Melbourne, after the lockdown was extended until 11.59pm on June 10.

James Merlino
Acting premier James Merlino said despite the restrictions being lifted, masks will still be compulsory indoors. Source: ABC News

Aged care resident among new cases

The three cases - including an Arcare Maidstone aged care resident - are all primary close contacts of existing cases.

A child of a previously identified case in the Whittlesea area and a worker from Stratton Finance at Port Melbourne make up the other two cases.

Last year's so-called "ring of steel" to enforce the differing restrictions between Melbourne and regional Victoria isn't coming back, with roving police patrols to be used instead.

Regional businesses will have to check the IDs of customers to ensure they aren't from Melbourne.

Changes to Greater Melbourne restrictions from 11.59pm tonight

  • 5km home travel radius for shopping and exercise extended to 10km

  • Year 11 and 12 students return to face-to-face learning, as well as pupils studying a Unit 3 and 4 VCE or VCAL subjects while class is taught

  • Outdoor jobs including landscaping, painting installing solar panels and letterboxing can resume

Changes to regional Victoria restrictions from 11.59pm tonight

  • Five reasons to leave home removed

  • No travel distance limit from home

  • Regional Victorians can travel to Melbourne for permitted reasons, must follow city rules

  • Outdoors gatherings up to 10 people

  • Food and hospitality venues open for seated service only, 50 person cap subject to density limit

  • Retail and personal services providers to reopen with masks

  • Religious gatherings and ceremonies permitted for up to 50 people, plus one faith leader

  • Fifty people allowed at funerals, 10 at weddings

  • Junior outdoor community sport can resume, adults may train outdoors

  • Outdoor pools, libraries and toy libraries can reopen for up to 50 people, subject to density limit

  • Outdoor entertainment venues capped to 50 people, or 50 per cent of the venue's seated capacity

  • Businesses open in regional Victoria, but not Melbourne, must check IDs of every customer

  • Service Victoria QR check-ins mandatory in retail settings including supermarkets and shops

with AAP

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