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Here’s What You Need To Know About The Restrictions Lifting This Week

Nicole de Souza Nicole de Souza - Staff Writer

Here’s What You Need To Know About The Restrictions Lifting This Week

Say goodbye to curfew!

Thanks to massive turnout around the state, Victoria is expected to hit the 70 per cent double vaccination target five days earlier than expected. Over 3.5 million Victorians are fully vaccinated, and five million Victorians have had their first dose. As a result, several lockdown restrictions around Melbourne and Victoria are lifting from 11:59pm on Thursday October 21.

“Victorians have sacrificed so much to protect their families, friends and the whole community from coronavirus – and have saved countless lives because of it,” said Premier Dan Andrews. “The milestone we’re about to hit marks a new and hopeful path for the whole state – allowing businesses to reopen and Victorians to get back to things they love.”

Here’s what you need to know.

Which restrictions are lifting in Melbourne?

  • Curfew will no longer be in place
  • The six reasons to leave home will be removed
  • The 15km travel limit will be lifted
  • Up to ten people, including dependents can visit your home per day. It’s strongly recommended that visitors above the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.
  • 15 people can gather outdoors
  • 20 fully vaccinated people allowed inside restaurants and cafés. All patrons must be fully vaccinated
  • Outdoor cinemas, outdoor cafés and outdoor physical recreation facilities will have up to 50 people per venue. Once again, all patrons must be fully vaccinated.
  • Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will have 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors, subject to density limits. All attendees must be fully vaccinated. However, if their vaccination status is unknown, ten people are permitted indoors for these services.
  • A staggered return of students from Grade 3 to Year 11 will start on Friday October 22

Which restrictions are lifting in regional Victoria?

  • Up to ten people, including dependents can visit your home per day. It’s strongly recommended that visitors above the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.
  • 20 people can gather outdoors
  • Restaurants, gyms, cafés and other indoor settings may have 30 people per venue. All patrons must be fully vaccinated.
  • Outdoor settings may have 100 people per venue. However, if the vaccination status is unknown, this number reduces to 20 people instead.

Meanwhile, masks will still be required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians. The border between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria remains in place.

Of course, if you can work from home, you should continue to do so.

Changes in isolation time for fully vaccinated Victorians

With our rates of vaccination increasing, changes will be made to how the close contacts system is managed. From 11:59pm on Thursday October 21, non-household primary close contacts who are fully vaccinated will only need to quarantine for seven days instead of fourteen.

They will need to return negative COVID test results on both Day 1 and Day 6 of their quarantine.

These changes will also apply to the workforce, where all workplace primary close contacts will have to isolate for seven days if they’re fully vaccinated.

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Meanwhile, household and unvaccinated close primary contacts will still have to isolate for the full fourteen day period.

“These safe and sensible changes to how close contacts are managed are possible because of Victoria’s outstanding work in getting vaccinated,” said Minister for Health Martin Foley. “As more and more Victorians come forward to get vaccinated, we can look forward to opening back up and putting the pandemic behind us – this is a major step in doing just that.”

In addition to our high vaccination rates, these changes are also possible because close to 90 per cent of people infected with Delta are positive by Day 7. Meanwhile, with other strains it could take up to 14 days to show a positive result.

Businesses move outdoors

Funding will be available for small businesses to start trading outdoors.

A $54.5 million Outdoor Economy Package will help support the costs of setting up for street trading, and help councils provide the necessary infrastructure.

A $14.5 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program will provide businesses with $2,000 grants. These vouchers will be valid for expenses such as purchasing or hiring marquees, obtaining insurance and promoting outdoor operations. 20 per of these vouchers will be given to regional Victoria.

Cafés, restaurants, bars, hairdressers, beauty services, retail shops, dance studios and gyms will all be eligible to apply for these vouchers. This program will be delivered by Business Victoria in partnership with Service Victoria.

A $40 million COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund will help councils transform and provide more outdoor areas in the community. Councils will use this fund to provide assistance to businesses, as well as provide public art, entertainment, planter boxes and street furniture. These funds will also be used to establish semi-permanent and permanent outdoor precincts.

Further info

To book a vaccine appointment at a state-run centre, click here.

To keep an eye on the COVID exposure sites, click here.

For the full Premier’s statement about restrictions lifting around Melbourne, click here.

See More: Get Excited — Live Music Is Returning To Sidney Myer Music Bowl On October 30

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