On Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews laid the next few pavers on the state’s path back to normal-ish following the Covid-19 lockdown.
Public playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gym equipment reopened on Tuesday, and a further easing of restrictions was announced to coincide with the reopening of restaurants and cafes for dine-in customers on Monday June 1.
“The whole way through this pandemic, our advice to Victorians has remained the same: ‘stay home’,” Andrews said in statement. “Now, as we begin to settle into a new normal, our message is ‘stay safe’. That means maintaining your physical distance. Using common sense.”
While people who can work from home are encouraged to keep doing so until at least the end of June, from 11.59pm on Sunday May 31 we’ll enjoy quite a bit more freedom. Here are the dos and don’ts of the new rules, kicking in next week.
Limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings will increase to 20 people, including the hosts. That means a household of five people can host 15 guests for a small house-party, or 20 people from different households can meet in the park for a picnic.
Guests can also stay overnight again.
Hotels, motels and other accommodation are reopening, as well as campgrounds and caravan parks, except those with communal facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens.
There are also no restrictions on how far you can travel, meaning you can go interstate if necessary, as long as you follow the rules at your destination. (Some state borders remain closed.)
Eating and drinking
From June 1, up to 20 people can dine in at cafes and restaurants, as long the venue follows the government’s guidelines for doing so safely. (We broke down those rules here).
You still can’t go out just for a for drink, but you can order alcohol with your meal.
(Check out our live list for where you can eat – we recommend booking in advance.)
Getting out and about
A big change is that galleries, museums, zoos, amusement parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen with a 20-person limit and under physical-distancing rules.
Likewise nail salons, spas, tattoo parlours and other beauty businesses can have up to 20 customers, as long as they’re safely spaced out. Customers’ full names and phone numbers must be collected for contact tracing.
Libraries, youth centres and other community facilities will also reopen with no more than 20 patrons in a single area, plus staff. Men’s sheds and arts and crafts classes will resume.
Swimming pools can reopen for up to 20 swimmers at a time, with “additional safety requirements”, such as a limit of three people per lane. Community sport can resume, provided the sport is outdoors, non-competitive, non-contact and can be played with competitors 1.5 metres apart. Restrictions on professional sports remain.
Auctions and house inspections are limited to 20 people (plus those required to run them) and agents will need to collect and retain the contact details.
Weddings, funerals and religious ceremonies
More people can attend significant occasions: up to 20 guests at weddings (plus the celebrant and couple) and up to 50 people at funerals (plus the officiant).
Private worship and small religious ceremonies can have up to 20 attendees, plus those running the service.
There’s one more date to mark on your corona-calendar: Sunday June 21. At 11.59pm restrictions will ease even further – as long as Victoria’s chief health officer, Professor Brett Sutton, deems it safe.
Restaurants and cafes will then be able to welcome up to 50 diners, likewise other public spaces will be able to accommodate 50 visitors with physical-distancing rules.
Indoor cinemas, concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums and more will also be allowed up to 50 seated guests. And indoor sports centres and gyms can reopen for 20 people, plus group-fitness classes of up to 10.
Victoria still has restrictions in place, and minimal social contact is recommended to minimise the spread of coronavirus. 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.