The Victorian government has tightened the rules for Melburnians and Mitchell Shire residents exercising outdoors under stage-three coronavirus restrictions, urging people to stay close to home and use common sense.
“If you must ask yourself and give a lot of thought to whether what you are planning to do is within the rules or against the rules, chances are it is against the rules,” Premier Daniel Andrews said in a press conference on Friday.
The state recorded a further 428 new coronavirus cases overnight, and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has updated its website to reflect the new advice.
“[You] cannot leave metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire to exercise. If you live outside of metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire you cannot enter these areas for the purpose of exercise or recreation.”
The following has been added:
“You should also stay close to home and use common sense and consideration when it comes to these activities.”
Since 11.59pm on Wednesday July 8, residents of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, which is north of the city, have only had four reasons to leave home: to shop for food and supplies, to study or work, for medical care or compassionate reasons, or to exercise outdoors.
A number of people have been caught breaching the exercise guidelines, including two people who travelled from Coburg to Rye on the Mornington Peninsula on Thursday.
“It is a 200-kilometre round trip,” the premier said. “That is not daily exercise. That is a day trip and day trips are not on. If you want to go for a walk then you can go for a walk close to home. That makes sense. A day trip is not daily exercise.”
Exercise is permitted alone, with people from your household, or with one person from outside your household, as long as there’s 1.5 metres between you. But you shouldn’t be crossing the city to your favourite walking track, for example.
“They are common-sense rules and that is the guiding principle,” Andrews said.
Find the latest information, updates and health advice on the Department of Health and Human Services website.