As we get closer to Christmas, there will be some slight changes to the restrictions around Victoria. Lifting these restrictions are an attempt to strike a balance between greater freedoms and appropriate caution as officials investigate the Omicron variant. There are ten confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Victoria so far. The slight easing of restrictions will take place at 11:59pm tonight, and stay in effect until January 12.
Here’s what you need to know.
Which restrictions are lifting in Melbourne and regional Victoria?
If you’re under 18, you will no longer need to show proof of vaccination at all venues, including hospitality.
The mandatory vaccination requirement will be removed for all retail customers, real estate, places of worship, weddings and funerals. However, you will still need to show proof of vaccination for hair and beauty services. You must still wear a mask in a retail space.
Meanwhile, restaurants, cafés, bars and pubs are still only open to fully vaccinated people. Workers must continue to wear masks.
Face masks are no longer required at weddings, funerals or ceremonial settings. There are no longer any vaccination requirements for places of worship, or limits on participants.
Although workplaces must maintain COVIDSafe plans, locations exposed to positive COVID cases no longer need to do a deep clean. This decision comes after increasing evidence that the risk of getting infected from touching surfaces is low.
Tour and transport operators, gyms, theatres, cinemas and other types of arts premises will no longer need to clean equipment between uses.
“These measures strike a balance between the risk of community transmission, and the protection that comes from being one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world,” said Minister for Health Martin Foley.
More information about the Omicron variant will need to be gathered before any more decisions are made.
The vaccination roll-out for children aged between five and eleven will begin on January 10, and parents are urged to get their kids vaccinated as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, all Victorians are eligible for a booster shot five months after their second vaccine dose. If you’re eligible for a booster, you’re urged to book an appointment as soon as you can.
“This will keep families safe during the holiday period and help slow the spread of the virus,” said Minister Foley.
For the full Premier’s statement about restrictions lifting around Melbourne, read here.
Find more information about COVIDSafe settings here.