Lockdown rules to change for regional Victoria from 11.59pm Thursday

Premier Daniel Andrews. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
Premier Daniel Andrews. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

PREMIER Daniel Andrews has announced a revised roadmap out of lockdown as Victoria nears the 70 per cent double dose vaccination rate.

In a press conference on Sunday, Mr Andrews outlined new rules that will come into effect 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," he said.

"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."

Up to 10 people (including dependents) per day will be able to visit homes in both regional and metropolitan Melbourne. To ensure this is done safely, it's highly recommended that Victorians only permit people aged 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated to visit them at home.

In regional Victoria, indoor settings - like restaurants, cafes and gyms - will increase from 10 to 30 people per venue, if everyone is fully vaccinated.

Outdoor venues will increase from 20 to up to 100 people per venue, but only if everyone is fully vaccinated. If vaccination status is unknown, the venue can only have a total of 20 people.

In metropolitan Melbourne, the curfew and the 15km travel radius will be lifted, however movement between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will only be allowed for permitted reasons. This is to ensure Melburnians don't spread the virus further into regional Victoria while we push to our 80 per cent double vaccinated target.

People in metropolitan Melbourne must continue to work from home if they can. Anyone on the authorised workers list is required to have had at least one dose of the vaccine in order to work on site.

Childcare will be open to children who are already attending, as well as children whose parents or guardians are fully vaccinated. The return to school plan will also be brought forward in line with the rest of these settings, with the start of the staggered return of Grade 3 to Year 11 in metro Melbourne commencing on Friday 22 October.

Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals will be able to take place with up to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors subject to density limits and only if all attendees are fully vaccinated. Or, if vaccination status is unknown, 10 people are permitted indoors for funerals, weddings and religious gatherings.

Most outdoor settings - outdoor cafes, cinemas, and physical recreation facilities like pools - will open with up to 50 people per venue but are subject to density limits and only for those fully vaccinated.

Indoor settings like restaurants and cafes will be able to reopen with up to 20 people indoors with density limits, and only if all attendees - including workers - are fully vaccinated. This is a higher cap than planned in the initial Roadmap and the change has been made after discussions between the sector and the public health team.

Large scale construction sites will increase to 100 percent capacity but only if all workers are fully vaccinated.

Masks will still be required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians.

The next milestone in the roadmap will be when Victoria hits the 80 per cent double dose vaccination target, which is predicted to be the first week of November. It's important to remember the more Victorians who get vaccinated, the sooner we will hit the next target and the more restrictions we can lift.

"The rate at which Victorians have been getting vaccinated is nothing short of incredible, but if we want to ensure our health system isn't overwhelmed and our hospitalisation rates aren't too high as we open up, we need to keep that momentum going. Today is the day to book that vaccine appointment," Minister for Health Martin Foley said.

This story Premier announces changes to roadmap out of lockdown first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.