From 11.59pm on Sunday December 6, Melbourne’s coronavirus restrictions are easing further.
In a press conference on Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews made some significant announcements that will apply for most of the summer. The news comes after Victoria recorded its 37th day without any new coronavirus cases.
Ahead of schedule, households will be able to host 30 people over the course of the day. And the number of people able to gather outdoors – in public spaces such as the park or the beach – will increase to 100.
At hospitality venues – including restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes – stand-up drinking will be allowed again, and there’ll be no cap on numbers indoors or outdoors. But a density requirement of one person per two square metres will be in place. For smaller venues, 25 people will be permitted before the density requirement kicks in.
There’ll be no cap on numbers at weddings and religious gatherings, but the one-person-per-two-square-metre rule will be in place. Dance floors will be limited to one person per four square metres, with a maximum of 50 people.
Nightclubs will also be allowed to open, with the same density requirements and standing service allowed, but Covid-safe conditions will apply.
Rules around face masks will be loosened, too. While masks must be carried everywhere, they will only be mandatory in specific settings – such as indoor shopping centres; supermarkets and department stores; indoor markets; on public transport and in rideshare vehicles; and in large crowds where physical distancing can’t be maintained. In all other settings, masks will be strongly recommended.
From January 11, private-sector offices can host 50 per cent of staff, while public-sector offices will reopen for 25 per cent of staff.