The coronavirus rule restricting Melbourne residents from driving to an exercise location within five kilometres of their home will be overturned tonight.
Residents under Stage 4 lockdown in Victoria’s capital are in the midst of harsh restrictions requiring they stay indoors unless leaving for an hour of daily exercise within five kilometres of their home.
Victoria Police created a stir on Wednesday after telling people it was unacceptable to drive somewhere for the purpose of exercise.
Widespread backlash saw thousands criticising the rule for being a “total load of rubbish” and further jeopardising people’s mental health.
In an unexpected backflip later on Wednesday, Port Phillip Police confirmed the rule would be removed by Thursday.
The Department of Health and Human Services will update its advice at midnight to state that residents would be allowed to drive within five kilometres of their home for exercise.
“This means that you are able to drive in order to exercise where it suits you - whether that be a beach or local park - provided the other regulations are followed and it is within your 5km radius,” a post on the Port Phillip Police Service Area Facebook page said.
“Thank you for your feedback and patience as this regulation was revised.”
Facebook users commended the change, thanking police and the Chief Health Officer for being “reasonable”.
There are currently just four reasons people in Melbourne are legally allowed to leave their home between 5am and 8pm, including to buy food and supplies, for care and healthcare, work, or exercise.
Exemptions apply to people in the case of partner visitation, family care and emergency situations.
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