With no new COVID-19 cases being recorded outside of Melbourne, the state’s chief health officer has advised the government to lift lockdown restrictions in regional Victoria from 11.59pm tonight.
It comes as Victoria recorded 11 new cases of the coronavirus today, all linked to known outbreaks, but only one was in quarantine while infectious.
From 11.59pm tonight, the five reasons to leave the home will be removed in regional Victoria and there will be no limit on the distance they can travel from home.
However, people will only be able to travel to Melbourne for a permitted reason, and once in the capital city travellers must abide by ongoing lockdown restrictions.
While lockdown will be lifted, private gatherings in regional Victorian homes are still not permitted, but outdoor gatherings in public spaces can occur with up to 10 people.
Face masks will also still be mandatory indoors and outdoors.
Food and hospitality will open for seated service only, and a density requirement of one person per 4sqm will apply, with a maximum of 100 people per venue. Venues smaller than 100sqm can have up to 25 people before density requirements apply.
Retail can also open and personal services such as beauty and tattooing can resume. Face masks can be removed where required for the service to be performed.
Religious gatherings and ceremonies are allowed, with density requirements of one person per 4sqm, and no more than 100 people total indoors and 300 people outdoors per venue.
Weddings and funerals are also able to have up to 50 people at a venue. This limit doesn’t include infants under 12 months of age, or the people required to conduct the service.
Community sport is open for all ages, including training and competition. Only the minimum number of participants (players, coaches, referees, officials, and carers or parents) needed to train or compete are permitted to attend, subject to a density quotient of one person per 4sqm. Spectators are not permitted.
Entertainment venues can have up to 300 people per outdoor space with a density requirement of one person per 4sqm and a cap of 100 people per space indoors. All entertainment facilities are required to have a COVID check-in marshal to monitor patrons checking-in with the Service Victoria app.
“We’ve always said the moment it’s safe to lift restrictions we will. While we continue to get on top of this outbreak in Melbourne, minimal primary close contacts and no new cases means we can ease setting in regional Victoria,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“This outbreak is an important reminder that until more Australians are vaccinated, we cannot afford complacency to creep in – we must stay safe to stay open.”
Most new Melbourne COVID cases in the community while infectious
With 10 of today’s 11 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the community while infectious, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned this trend will continue over the coming days.
“At the beginning of an outbreak we have many people not isolating," said Andrews.
"As the outbreak unfolds, more and more people will be away from others and not a risk to public health.”
The new infections takes the number of active COVID cases in this latest community outbreak to 56, which have been detected from more than 1 million test since 12 July.
“It’s a fantastic effort and it’s central to our fight against this virus,” said Andrews on Victoria meeting the one million test milestone.
There are now 12,738 close contacts now associated with the active clusters, with almost 9,000 of those being staff and students of a number of schools connected to the outbreak.
“This shows how quickly this outbreak has sped up and how quickly we’ve activated a really significant response,” Victorian COVID Commander Jeroen Weimar said.
Updated at 12.00pm AEST on 9 August 2021.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support