New Victoria Covid restrictions: latest update to Melbourne lockdown curfew and regional Vic coronavirus rules explained
The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, has announced an end to lockdown in regional Victoria from 11.59pm Thursday, with the exception of greater Shepparton.
Regional schools will reopen for prep to year 2 and year 12. Up to 20 people can attend funerals, while weddings will allow up to 10 people.
In Melbourne, where restrictions remain in place, single parents including those who are not authorised workers, will be allowed to access childcare.
When can I leave my house?
From 11.59pm on Thursday 9 September, the five approved reasons to leave your home will be removed in regional Victoria, apart from Shepparton. There will be no limit on travel distance for people in those areas, aside from travelling into Melbourne.
In Melbourne and Shepparton the current rules remain in place, meaning you cannot leave your home unless: shopping for essentials; authorised work, if you cannot work from home, or education; exercise for up to two hours; caregiving, compassionate and medical reasons; and to get vaccinated.
Essential workers who can’t work from home need to get a permit to go to work.
Private inspections of unoccupied premises for a home purchase or end of lease will be permitted from 23 September, but only one household may attend at a time, with the agent staying outdoors during the inspection.
Can I go out at night?
People in greater Melbourne must stay home between 9pm and 5am.
How long will the lockdown last?
Andrews said on 1 September that restrictions would remain in place at least until 70% of the adult population had received one dose of vaccine – expected on 23 September.
How far can I travel from home?
For people in regional Victoria there will be no limits on how far you can travel after 11.59pm 9 September.
For shopping and exercise in Melbourne and Shepparton, you need to stay within a 5km radius of your home.
From about 23 September, the radius for shopping and exercise will be expanded to 10km.
What are the rules for exercise?
In Melbourne and greater Shepparton restrictions remain in place, with a two-hour limit on exercise, with just one other person, and you must stay within a 5km radius of your home. Gyms have closed their doors again and community sport will also be suspended. Outdoor exercise equipment including skateparks are closed.
Playgrounds have reopened.
From 23 September, the two-hour limit will be extended to three hours a day. Outdoor exercise equipment will be opened, and outdoor personal training will also be allowed, with up to two people plus the trainer.
What are the rules for wearing face masks?
Masks must be still worn everywhere except for in your home. This includes both indoor places and outdoor areas – unless you have a medical exemption. It also applies to all workplaces and secondary schools.
It is recommended all primary-school-age children wear masks indoors and outside, except when at home or if an exception applies.
Masks cannot be removed to drink alcohol outdoors.
What are the rules for construction?
Large construction projects will only be allowed to have 25% of their workers on site, and Smaller construction projects will have a maximum of five workers.
From about 23 September, construction sites can have up to 50% of their capacity returned, if 90% of the workforce has received at least one vaccine dose.
Is regional Victoria included?
From 11.59pm Thursday 9 September, regional Victoria will not be under restrictions, aside from greater Shepparton, where they remain.
Can I have visitors to my house?
No, visitors to homes in Victoria are not allowed, other than an intimate partner, or a nominated person for someone who lives alone.
Can I travel interstate?
Each state and territory is updating guidance on travel rules individually:
What about the Victoria-NSW border bubble?
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has announced people living in border communities with NSW will need to apply for a permit to travel in the bubble. People can apply but the permit rule will not be enforced until 6pm on Friday.
What about if I live in Victoria, but I’m in NSW and want to return home?
Only people deemed authorised workers and those granted an exemption on compassionate grounds will be able to get a permit to enter Victoria from NSW.
What about public gatherings?
In regional Victoria, funerals can have 20 people attend and weddings will be allowed to hold up to 10 people, plus those needed to conduct the service. However stricter limits remain in place for weddings and funerals with people from Melbourne in attendance.
What is happening with schools?
Schools will reopen for prep to year 2 and year 12 students from 11.59pm on 9 September in regional Victoria.
Remote learning will remain for all other levels. Vulnerable children and the children of essential workers will still be able to access onsite supervision. Higher education have also switched to remote learning.
Childcare centres and kindergartens are still open, but only for vulnerable children, or the children of authorised workers if they cannot work from home or if no supervision is available at home. Allowed in-home care, such as babysitters, has been expanded to include school-aged children, but only if both parents are authorised workers.
Single parents in Melbourne will be able to access childcare, regardless of whether they are an authorised worker, from 11.59pm on 9 September.
Can I dine in at a restaurant or cafe?
In regional Victoria, restaurants and cafes will be able to reopen for seated service with patron caps from 10 September.
Patron caps will also apply to retail, hairdressing, entertainment venues and community facilities.
Businesses will be required to check IDs of everyone they serve, to ensure they are from the regional Victoria area. Density requirements apply.
Are the shops open?
In Melbourne, essential retail, such as supermarkets and chemists, will remain open. Other stores are closed.
What about weddings, funerals and religious services?
Funerals will be able to go ahead indoors and outdoors with up to 10 people, plus those required to conduct the funeral.
Weddings are not allowed, unless end of life or other exceptional circumstances apply.
People involved in producing religious broadcasts must be the same group of people each time.
What about aged care and hospitals?
No visitors are allowed at aged care facilities except for limited reasons. There will be no visitors to hospitals allowed except for end of life, if you’re a partner during the birth of your child, or a parent accompanying a child.
Can I go and get vaccinated?
Getting vaccinated is one of the reasons people who are eligible to receive the jab can leave home. The Victorian government has expanded the eligibility to include those aged between 40-49 for state-operated vaccination sites. People in this category can now call the hotline on 1800 675 398 to book an appointment.
Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is regularly updated to ensure it reflects the current situation at the date of publication. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.