After closing in March due to coronavirus, briefly reopening, then closing again in August, the gates at Victoria’s Royal Botanic Gardens are swinging open from this weekend.

The Melbourne gardens will reopen on Saturday September 26, and the Cranbourne gardens will reopen on Monday September 28. And with up to two people now able to meet outdoors for a maximum of two hours (within five kilometres of their home), picnics are back on the cards.

“We know how important [these] green spaces are, particularly at this time, when that healing connection with nature is so sorely needed,” Tim Entwisle, the gardens’ director and chief executive, said in a statement.

But there are some corona-related restrictions to keep in mind. “It’s important our visitors adhere to physical distancing and hygiene protocols, and you’ll notice a few constricted areas and narrow paths still closed. But for those of you living within five kilometres of our two sites – Melbourne and Cranbourne gardens – welcome back!”

The Melbourne gardens will reopen on Saturday September 26 and the Cranbourne gardens will reopen on Monday September 28.

As part of Melbourne’s current stage-four lockdown rules, up to two people may meet outdoors for a maximum of two hours. Both people must remain within five kilometres of their home. If you’re concerned about visiting businesses or public spaces, or have questions about self-isolation and coronavirus testing, check out the latest from the Department of Health and Human Services.

rbg.vic.gov.au