Finally. Lockdown 6.0 been a long, laborious one, but – in a press conference on Sunday morning – Premier Daniel Andrews announced it will end at midnight on Thursday.
By that date, 70 per cent of Victorians over the age of 16 will be fully vaccinated. That’s five days earlier than the predicted October 26 easing called out in the state government’s road map.
But, in addition to the restrictions we were expecting to ease when the state hit that 70-per-cent vaccination milestone, Andrews said Melburnians will also get a number of additional freedoms – ahead of schedule.
From 11.59pm on Thursday October 21, home visits will be back on the cards. After months of socialising only on walks or in the park, you’ll be able to have up to 10 people (and dependents) over per day. Though it’s “highly recommended”, Andrews said, that only fully vaccinated people over the age of 12 attend. Public gatherings will be allowed for 15 people (and dependents).
For hospo, as planned, 50 diners will be permitted outdoors, while it’s welcome news that 20 fully vaccinated diners will also be allowed indoors.
And the 15-kilometre travel limit will be scrapped, though travel from metro Melbourne into regional Victoria won’t be allowed for the time being.
The news comes as Victoria records 1838 new locally acquired coronavirus cases, taking the state’s total to 23,376 active cases.
Here’s a simple rundown of what’s changing.
From 11.59pm on Thursday October 21:
• Lockdown will end in Melbourne. The six reasons to leave home will no longer apply; neither will the 9pm to 5am curfew.
• The 15-kilometre travel limit will be scrapped, though travel from metro Melbourne into regional Victoria still won’t be allowed.
• Home visits will be allowed for up to 10 people per day, including dependents. It’s “highly recommended” those people over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.
• The outdoor-gathering limit will increase from five to 15 people, including dependents.
• Hospitality venues will be able to reopen to 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 outdoors. Entertainment venues can also open to 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors.
• Weddings and funerals will be permitted for 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors and 20 fully vaccinated people indoors.
• Community-sport training will return for the minimum number of players required to train.
• All school students will go back to in-person learning, at least part-time.
• Hairdressing and personal-care services will open for up to five fully vaccinated people.