Victorians can now expect more social interaction and extra time outside after the state cautiously eased out of heavy lockdown restrictions at midnight.
The gradual easing of restrictions, part of the 'First Step' of the state's roadmap to reopening, comes as Victoria records just 35 new cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths today.
As part of step one social bubbles are now allowed in Melbourne, meaning those living alone or single parents can have one other person in their home.
The 8pm curfew has been extended by one hour to 9pm as Melbourne moves into the warmer months.
Exercise is permitted for two hours split over a maximum of two sessions per day, and Melburnians are allowed to use that out time outside for social interaction with one other person or the members of their household.
Playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment have also been reopened, while libraries are able to open for contactless click and collect services.
However, Melbourne is largely still subject to strict Stage 4 restrictions, meaning most businesses are still closed.
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Meanwhile, regional Victoria moved from Stage 3 restrictions to the second step of the roadmap as of midnight last night, meaning up to five people can gather together in outdoor and public places from a maximum of two households.
Outdoor pools and playgrounds have reopened, and religious services can be conducted outside with a maximum of five people plus a faith leader.
Because regional Victoria's 14-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases is doing so well (currently sitting at 4.1) the state government says areas outside of greater Melbourne could move to the third step of easing within a matter of days.
"I'm so proud of Victorians for the way we are all working together to beat this virus it means we can take our first safe and steady steps towards a COVID Normal tonight," said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday.
"What we've seen in regional Victoria should give hope to all Victorians. If we all play our part, we can drive numbers down and get through this together."
Updated at 10.05am AEST on 14 September 2020.
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