Victoria is fast approaching a coronavirus vaccination milestone – 69.2 per cent of people over the age of 16 have now received at least one jab. The Andrews government previously said restrictions would be eased once we reached 70 per cent first dose, with further easings at 70 and 80 per cent fully vaccinated, as per national cabinet strategy.

Speaking at a press conference today, Premier Daniel Andrews announced his government is easing restrictions this weekend, as the 70 per cent first dose target is likely to be reached tomorrow. From Saturday, September 18:

• The five-kilometre movement radius will expand to 10 kilometres.
• Outdoor gyms and skateparks will reopen
• Four hours of exercise will be allowed per day, up from the previous two
• Up to two people, plus a personal trainer, will be able to do sessions outdoors
• Up to two people, regardless of vaccination status, will be able to gather outside socially for up to four hours. Masks may be removed to eat and drink non-alcoholic drinks only
• Up to five fully vaccinated adults (plus unvaccinated dependents) from no more than two separate household will be able to gather outside socially for up to four hours. Masks may be removed to eat and drink non-alcoholic drinks only
• In-home childcare will be extended to families where only one parent is an essential worker
• In-person, appointment-only real estate inspections will return

These changes were mostly expected, apart from the return of outdoor gatherings and picnics. This bonus easing takes us back to October last year, when patchworks of picnic blankets suddenly took over Melbourne’s parks, gardens and beaches. Visit our dedicated hub to picnicking in Melbourne for inspiration on where to lay down your blanket, fancy goon sacks to drink while you’re there, and more.

Today Victoria recorded 514 new locally acquired coronavirus cases, the highest daily increase since August last year.