Victoria's Covid lockdown: Five reasons you can leave home

Victoria will enter a lockdown for seven days after the coronavirus cluster in Melbourne's north grew to 26 cases on Thursday.

The state reported 11 new cases on Thursday, and one person is on a ventilator in the intensive care unit.

Victorian Deputy Premier James Merlino told reporters the state was dealing with a "highly infectious" strain of the virus, with the time between catching it and passing it on "faster than ever".

Mr Merlino spelled out only five reasons people could leave their home after the statewide lockdown comes into effect from 11.59pm tonight.

  • To leave home to shop for essentials

  • For authorised work or permitted education

  • To provide care and for medical and compassionate reasons

  • Leaving to get vaccinated

  • To exercise for a maximum of two hours

MELBOURNE - APR 10 2014:Pedestrians cross Flinders Street towards Flinders Street railway stationIts on of the most busiest pedestrian crossings in Australia and the busiest of Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Victorians will be able to leave the home for just five reasons. Source: Getty

Mr Merlino said people needed to remain within five kilometres of their homes when shopping or exercising, unless the closest shop was further away.

Masks will be required everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, other than your home.

Visitors are also not permitted in the home other than an intimate partner.

People who live alone however will be able to create a ‘single bubble’ with one other person.

What will be open during the lockdown?

Public gatherings are banned under the lockdown and restaurants, pubs and cafes can provide takeaway only.

Supermarkets, food stores, petrol stations, banks, bottle shops and pharmacies are considered essential, while other retail stores can provide click and collect.

Childcare and kinder will be open and approved professional sporting events can do ahead without crowds.

What will be closed?

Schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children and children of authorised workers.

Higher education will move to remote learning only.

Hotels, clubs, TABs and the casino will be closed, as well as indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, swimmings pools, spas, sauna, indoor and outdoor springs, community venues, drive-in cinemas, amusement parks and arcades.

Creative studios, art galleries, museums and tours will also be closed while auctions can happen online only.

Can I visit a hospital or aged care facility?

Visitors are only allowed at aged care facilities for limited reasons and you can only visit a hospital if you're a parent accompanying a child, supporting a partner during birth or if a patient is at the end of their life.

Health department officials arrive to inspect a restaurant and bar in Melbourne on May 12, 2021, after a man who had dined there later tested positive for Covid-19 in the first community case in the city for two months. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Restaurants and cafes can provide takeaway only. Source: Getty

Rules around weddings and funerals

A maximum of 10 people will be permitted at funerals, including those running the service.

Wedding can only go ahead if end of life or deportation reasons apply.

Religious activities will not take place, other than through a broadcast that involves a maximum of five people.

Who can be vaccinated in Victoria?

From Friday morning, Victoria will expand the eligibility for vaccinations, with people in the 40 to 49-year-old age group able to receive the Pfizer jab at state-run vaccination sites.

"I really encourage everyone, if you're eligible, get vaccinated," Mr Merlino said.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters vaccines were a key part "of getting back to something that approaches normal".

"Make yourself a plan to do that today, and get it done," he said.

People in the 40-49 age bracket will have to book an appointment by calling the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

Those who are over 50 can continue to walk in to any centre for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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