The Victorian government has released its roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions across Melbourne and the state. If you’re living in the city and your one burning question is whether you can or cannot host friends in your home, here’s what you need to know.
On 6 September, Daniel Andrews, premier of Victoria, extended Melbourne’s stage four restrictions for another two weeks and outlined a roadmap to recovery that starts on 11:59pm 13 September and lasts until 23 November. You can read about each stage of the ‘recovery’ in full detail here but if you just want to know how it impacts your ability to meet people, then read on.
But first, you need to understand what a ‘social bubble’ in Melbourne means
Starting from 14 September, single-person and single-parent households with children under 18 across Melbourne will be allowed to create a ‘social bubble’ with one other ‘nominated’ person. (Previously, only intimate partners were allowed to visit). Given the mental health implications of the lockdown since it began a second time around, this will come as welcome relief to many.
The nominated person can live further than the single person’s or single parent’s five-kilometre radius. Only one person in the social bubble needs to be living alone or be in a single-parent household.
“This is a small but an important step when you consider how heavy the burden is for people who live alone and have genuinely been unable to engage with anybody else,” Andrews said during a presser.
If you’re unsure of when this starts, for how long, and when you can see more than one nominated person, let’s guide you through the new roadmap.
Step one: From 11:59pm 13 September to 28 September
Who can come over: Those who live alone (as established above) can have one nominated person visit as part of the social bubble.
Outdoor gatherings: Two people or a household can meet outside for up to two hours.
Curfew: Reduced by one hour. Will run from 9pm to 5am.
Step two: From 28 September to 26 October
Caveat: Will come into effect if average daily cases in Melbourne in preceding 14 days stay between 30 to 50.
Who can come over: Same as step one.
Outdoor gatherings: Maximum five people from two households can gather outside socially.
Curfew: 9pm to 5am.
Step three: From 26 October to 23 November
Caveat: If Victoria’s average daily case rate is fewer than five cases a day in the preceding 14-day period. No more than three of these should be from unknown sources.
Who can come over: Up to five visitors allowed from another nominated household.
Outdoor gatherings: Up to 10 people.
Step four: From 23 November to no active cases
Caveat: Only if there has been no new case in the previous 14 days. Public health advice to cast final decision.
Who can come over: Up to 20 people at any given time.
Outdoor gatherings: Up to 50 people.
Step five: COVID normal
Caveat: Zero cases for 28 days, no active cases and no significant outbreaks in other states and territories.
For more information, visit Victoria State Government’s official website.