Due to a high rate of vaccination, the Victorian Government has announced that some key restrictions around Melbourne are lifting at 11:59pm on Friday April 22. These include the removal of masks in hospitality and retail settings, and a removal of the check-in requirement at venues. Meanwhile, other critical settings will remain in place, such as wearing a mask on public transport.
According to Minister for Health Martin Foley, the lifting of restrictions is only possible due to our high vaccination rate. “Many people thought our 70 per cent double vaccinated target was impossible but we smashed through that barrier – and now two in three Victorians aged over 16 have had a third dose,” he said.
“The vaccinated economy kept Victorians safe and businesses open during an unpredictable time when we saw our highest case numbers ever – but now is the right time to set it aside and focus on the highest risk settings.”
Which restrictions are lifting in Melbourne and regional Victoria?
As of 11:59pm on Friday April 22:
- You won’t need to show your vaccination status or be required to have two vaccine doses before entering any venue.
- Staff and patrons no longer need to check-in via the Service Victoria app. Operators will no longer be required to keep attendance records or have a check-in marshal.
- Masks will no longer be required in primary schools, early childhood, hospitality, retail settings or at events of any size.
- Close contacts will no longer have to quarantine, as long as they wear a mask indoors and avoid sensitive settings. They will need to provide at least five negative rapid antigen tests over seven days.
- Visitor restrictions in hospitals will be removed, but you’ll still need to wear a mask. Health services will be able to adjust their health settings based on their situation.
- Events with over 30, 000 people will no longer need public health pre-approval.
- International travellers who have no symptoms will be recommended, but not required, to get a PCR or rapid test on arrival. Meanwhile, unvaccinated travellers will no longer need to quarantine for seven days. Pre-departure tests for unvaccinated air crew will also be lifted.
- People will now be exempt from testing or quarantine for 12 weeks instead of 8 if they’ve had COVID-19.
- Individuals will need to notify their workplace contacts and their social contacts. But workplaces won’t need to individually identify and notify each worker that has potentially been exposed to COVID.
Which restrictions are staying?
As we head into winter, some common-sense restrictions will stay in place.
“Many things that are very effective in driving down transmission will remain strongly recommended,” said Martin Foley. “That will keep us protected during winter and help us respond to emerging risks.”
If you receive a COVID-19 diagnosis, you must continue to isolate for seven days. The existing two and three-dose vaccination mandates will remain in place for workers.
Visitor restrictions in care facilities will remain to protect the vulnerable. Residents can have up to five visitors a day, as long as each visitor shows a negative rapid antigen test result. If no test results are provided, a resident can still have two visitors.
Masks will continue to be required on public transport and at airports, except for airport workers who aren’t facing the public. Masks will also remain in sensitive health, aged care and justice settings. All workplaces must continue to have a COVIDSafe Plan.
Other rules that are no longer required are still recommended. For example, working from home, or wearing a mask if you can’t socially distance.
For the full Premier’s statement about restrictions lifting around Melbourne, click here.
Find more information about COVIDSafe settings here.