These are the changes coming to Melbourne life from 11.59pm Sunday

Daniel Andrews finally eases Melbourne’s lockdown – increasing travel limit to 25km, opening hairdressers and allowing groups of 10 outdoors – but pubs and retail will stay SHUT

  • Victoria reported two new coronavirus cases and zero deaths overnight
  • Premier Daniel Andrews announced number of changes to Melbourne lockdown
  • The five kilometre travel restriction has been extended to 25 kilometres
  • Retail businesses and pubs will have to wait until November 1 for rollbacks 

Melburnians will be allowed to travel 25km from home and there will be no limits on time spent outdoors as a part of eased COVID-19 restrictions due to start Monday. 

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced the relaxed lockdown rules on Sunday, after authorities confirmed the state had two new cases of coronavirus and no further deaths.

Under the new rules, groups of up to 10 people from two households can gather outdoors and tennis courts, skate parks and golf courses will reopen. 

Hairdressers will also reopen and outdoor pools will be able to host 30 swimmers, while real estate auctions will go ahead outdoors with up to 10 bidders. 

But Melbourne businesses must wait longer for eased restrictions, with Mr Andrews confirming that retail, hospitality and ‘personal care’ services will stay shut until November 1. 

‘There is some optimism, confidence even, but if things continue this week as they have the last five days, we may be able to bring that forward,’ he said of the wait for business operators. 

Despite recording just five coronavirus cases in the last three days – compared to 17 cases in NSW – Melburnians are still banned from inviting friends over to their house. 

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced a number of social restrictions will be eased from midnight with businesses told they will have to wait another couple of weeks before reopening

Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced a number of social restrictions will be eased from midnight with businesses told they will have to wait another couple of weeks before reopening

The 5 kilometre travel restriction will be extended to 25 kilometres from 11.59pm on Sunday

The 5 kilometre travel restriction will be extended to 25 kilometres from 11.59pm on Sunday

VICTORIA’S PATHWAY OUT OF LOCKDOWN 

The state government has mapped a new pathway out of lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria that depends on stamping out COVID-19 cases in the community which have an unknown source.

METROPOLITAN MELBOURNE

STEP ONE: From 11:59pm Sunday

* Two-hour outdoor time limit scrapped

* 5km travel restriction extended to 25km

* Outdoor gatherings up from five to 10

* Face-to-face allied health appointments to resume

* Tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen

* Outdoor swimming pools open to a maximum of 30 swimmers

* Hairdressers can reopen

* Outdoor real estate auctions permitted with up to 10 people, plus staff

STEP TWO: From 11:59pm on November 1:

* Up to two people, plus dependents, allowed to visit a home per day

* All retail shops can open

* Hospitality: maximum of 20 indoor seated customers (subject to one per four sqm), maximum of 50 outdoor patrons (subject to one per two sqm)

* Beauty and personal care services open

* Wedding groups of up to 10 permitted

* Up to 20 mourners allowed at funerals

* Outdoor religious gatherings and ceremonies capped at 20 people

MAJOR RESTRICTIONS REMAIN:

* Approved face masks must be worn at all times outside home

* Work from home if possible

* All businesses must have a COVID-safe plan    

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Mr Andrews reiterated that Victorians would not be allowed to gather and celebrate the upcoming AFL Grand Final next weekend. 

‘You cannot have friends over into your home. You cannot pretend that it is over because we all desperately want it to be,’ he said.

‘I know that many people would normally spend time with family and friends to celebrate that day … it is a big part of who we are.’

‘As important as it is, in a cultural sense, in a very passionate way, for every single football fan across our state, it is not worth risking all that we have done, all that we have built, all that we can do in just a few days’ time by having gatherings that are unsafe.’    

Under Andrews’ relaxed lockdown beginning Monday, outdoor maintenance and repair workers, mobile pet groomers and photographers will also be allowed to return to work.

Mr Andrews said more significant changes would come into place from 11.59pm on November 1, including allowing up to two adults and their children to visit a home each day. 

All retail shops will also be given the clear to open up, including beauty and personal care services, with wedding groups of up to 10 permitted and 20 mourners allowed at funerals.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants will be allowed to open up with a maximum of 20 indoor seated customers and 50 outdoors from November 1.   

Hairdressers will also reopen and outdoor pools will be able to host 30 swimmers

Hairdressers will also reopen and outdoor pools will be able to host 30 swimmers

The cap on outdoor gatherings will be increased to 10 people from two households

The cap on outdoor gatherings will be increased to 10 people from two households 

For months, Melburnians have only been permitted to travel within a 5km radius of their home and only for a maximum period of one or two hours.

‘I’ve announced today what is safe but what will not undermine the efforts that Victorians have put in,’ Mr Andrews said. 

‘Victorians have done an amazing job over recent weeks and months.

‘We in Melbourne and Victoria are well placed to have a COVID safe summer. Yes these lockdowns have come with significant pain and damage, but this strategy is working.’  

In August Victoria was reporting more than 700 COVID-19 cases each day. For the past five days, the state has had single-digit new diagnoses each day.

The latest rolling daily case count is 7.5 in metropolitan Melbourne for the fortnight up to Saturday. Regional Victoria’s two-week average is 0.5. 

Mr Andrews also announced a raft of changes coming into effect in regional Victoria from 11.59pm on Sunday.

Hospitality venues outside of Melbourne will increase their capacity to 70 pepole outside and 40 people inside.  

Outdoor religious gatherings will also increase to 20 people, and the cap will be extended again to 50 people from midnight on November 1.

Mr Andrews revealed the ‘ring of steel’ border closures between Melbourne and regional Victoria would remain closed. 

‘Victorians in every community, in every circumstance have stayed the course,’ Mr Andrews said.

‘We have just a little longer to go to beat that second wave and then find that normal and find that process of rebuilding.’ 

But Melbourne businesses must wait longer for eased restrictions, with Mr Andrews confirming that changes to retail, hospitality and 'personal care' services won't change until midnight November 1

But Melbourne businesses must wait longer for eased restrictions, with Mr Andrews confirming that changes to retail, hospitality and ‘personal care’ services won’t change until midnight November 1

Mr Andrews reiterated that Victorians would not be allowed to gather and celebrate the upcoming AFL Grand Final next weekend

Mr Andrews reiterated that Victorians would not be allowed to gather and celebrate the upcoming AFL Grand Final next weekend

Federal health minister Greg Hunt has urged the Victorian government to ease restrictions in line with NSW.

‘The epidemiological conditions for a COVID-safe reopening of hospitality, movement (and) family reunions among others, have now been firmly met,’ Mr Hunt posted on Twitter on Saturday.

‘Victoria should now be able to move to the next step in line (with) NSW.’

However Mr Andrews said Mr Hunt was not an epidemiologist and accused him of ‘playing games’, adding that he would not be rushed to lift restrictions.

Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria’s 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source. 

Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria's 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source (pictured, a COVID-19 pop-up clinic at Shepparton)

Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria’s 15 cases for the fortnight up to Thursday which have no known source (pictured, a COVID-19 pop-up clinic at Shepparton)

DAN ANDREWS VS CANBERRA 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has been able to ease some of his state’s COVID-19 restrictions but his row with the federal Liberal MPs has deepened.

Mr Andrews has reiterated he wants no part of the travel bubble that started on Friday with New Zealand at this stage but revealed 55 Kiwis have apparently turned up in his state after landing in NSW.

‘We have been able to find 23 … we are still working to find the balance,’ he said on Sunday.

‘We have been given a list, 12 hours after they arrived. We are ringing them, one of them was in Byron Bay.’

But acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge insists Victorian chief medical officer Brett Sutton was at the meeting where authorisation was given for individuals who arrived in Sydney from New Zealand to then travel to Victoria.

‘So the Victorian government was present when it was discussed, they were made aware that this was going to occur, they raised no objections in the meetings,’ Mr Tudge told reporters.

But Mr Andrews said this was not the case.

‘Seriously, my advice to minister Tudge is, instead of stubbornly defending this, work with us and let’s make sure Victoria is not part of a bubble we never agreed to be in,’ the premier said.

Mr Andrews has been able to ease some of his state’s stiff COVID-19 restrictions after reporting just two new cases on Sunday after one on Saturday.

Among the state’s relaxation of restrictions, from Monday Melburnians will be allowed to travel 25km from home, while there will be no limits on time spent away from their residence.

But the state capitals businesses must wait longer for eased restrictions, with Mr Andrews confirming changes to retail, hospitality and ‘personal care’ services won’t change until November.

‘I know and understand that not everything that everybody wanted is in the announcements I have made today,’ he said.

‘I just make this point, I have announced today what is safe.’

Just hours before the announcement, cabinet minister Karen Andrews joined an ever growing queue of federal Liberal MPs putting pressure on the premier to ease his restrictions.

‘We hope that Daniel Andrews shows the leadership that is needed in Victoria,’ she told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

‘Daniels Andrews actually has shown himself to be a lockdown leader, we actually want that to change.’

The day before Mr Andrews accused federal Health Minister Greg Hunt of ‘playing games’ after he urged the Victorian leader to move to the next step in line with NSW.

Federal Labor front bencher Tanya Plibersek was unimpressed.

‘I think it’s actually really gross that federal Liberal MPs are trying to use this as an attack on Daniel Andrews,’ she told ABC television’s Insiders.

‘He hasn’t done it for popularity, he’s done it because he’s considered it the right thing to do. The federal government ought to be looking at its own role in Victoria’s difficulties including aged care.

 

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