Melbourne lockdown lifted: Premier announces stage 3 restrictions

Melbourne will move out of lockdown and into stage three restrictions as of 11:59pm on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, as the state records zero deaths and zero new cases of COVID 19. The last time Victoria recorded zero cases was on June 9, 139 days ago.

From Stay Home to Stay Safe

Premier Daniel Andrews says the state will move from “stay home” to “stay safe”, with no more restrictions on the reasons to leave home. The announcement comes off the back of a massive weekend of testing with over 14,000 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, as the Andrews government sought affirmation it was on top of community transmissions.

"Because of that effort, we’ve been able to get the results faster than we thought. These results give us confidence – confidence that even if we do identify positive cases in any further tests – we are firmly on top of this virus. It’s why today I can confirm what we’ve long waited for: Melbourne will move out of lockdown and into the Third Step," Premier Andrews said.

While lockdown has eased, Andrews said the 25-kilometre limit will remain in place as will the border restrictions between Melbourne and regional Victoria in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

Restrictions eased

Under the Third Step, Melbourne’s cafes, restaurants and pubs can now reopen.

  • Outdoor venues will have  limit of up to 50, indoors up to 20. However density limits, record keeping and COVIDSafe Plans also apply.
  • Remaining retail will also reopen. Beauty and personal care services can resume.
  • Outdoor contact sport for those aged 18 and under will also begin again – so too can non-contact sport for adults.
  • PT, fitness and dance classes can also be held outdoors with up to ten people, and the number of people at outdoor pools can increase to 50, subject to density limits.
  • Libraries and community venues will be able to open for outdoor events. Outdoor entertainment venues can also begin hosting visitors.
  • Faith communities will be able to meet for outdoor religious ceremonies with up to 20 people, in addition to those required for the service. Indoor services can be held with up to 10.
  • Weddings will increase to ten people, and funerals up to 20.
  • Workplaces will no longer need to be on the permitted worklist to open and the ability to work will change to “if you can work from home you must work from home

Andrews said for those businesses who need to get ready for their reopening – staff will be able to attend onsite straight away.

"While the boundary is in place, work permits will still be required for workers from Melbourne travelling into regional Victoria – and vice versa."

Home visits remain unchanged

Many Victorians were hoping for an announcement regarding 'the bubble' however Andrews has confirmed the government is still considering how to increase visitors to homes without jeopardising recent low numbers.

"I know the thing many people are missing is having people over to visit – but as we’ve seen, this virus is at its most dangerous when we’re indoors and relaxed and comfortable. It’s why we’re going to take the next 24 hours to understand how we might be able to make this work – safely – and I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow."

More restrictions set to ease on November 8

The premier confirmed if case numbers continue to remain low. the 25km travel limit will be removed and Melbourne restrictions will move in line with regional Victoria. This means the same eased restrictions that apply to regional Victoria will also apply to Melbourne. The capacity of pubs and restaurants will increase, with up to 40 inside and 70 outside. Religious gatherings will expand with up 20 people and a faith leader indoors, and 50 outside. Gyms and indoor fitness will be able to reopen – with safety precautions in place.

"And because Melburnians will have well and truly earnt a holiday, accommodation will also reopen," said Andrews. "The border between the city and the rest of our state will also fall away.

"I know personally – deeply – just how much this will mean for thousands of Victorians who haven’t been able to see loved ones for far too long. It will mean families are whole again. Our state is whole again."

Andrews said the ambition is for the state to reach COVID Normal by Christmas and says at the moment Victoria is on track to do that.

"It’s why we’ve got to keep going – all of us. Understanding that even though restrictions may ease, our personal responsibility in all this doesn’t. We have come so far and given so much. Getting here – and staying here – relies on the efforts of every Victorian< " the Premier concluded.

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