Melbourne’s Changed COVID-19 Restrictions: What You Need To Know

Melbourne’s Changed COVID-19 Restrictions: What You Need To Know
Contributor: Alex Kidman

Melbourne’s COVID-19 restrictions, designed to stem the rise in Coronavirus cases have been altered in light of improving figures, but it’s still vital to know what you are allowed to do – and especially what you’re not.

While Melbourne residents aren’t quite out of lockdown, measures announced yesterday around the efforts undertaken by the Victorian Government will see a wider range of allowable activities for Melburnians that weren’t previously permitted under existing Melbourne COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Travel restrictions

The big change here is that the old 5km-from-home-or-workplace Melbourne COVID-19 restriction has been expanded markedly, with residents and workers now able to travel up to 25km, with the notable caveat that this effectively has to be within Melbourne itself unless it falls within the scope of permitted purposes, such as for work

Residents of Melbourne are not permitted to travel into regional Victoria, even if it is within 25km for exercise or recreation purposes at all, to help combat the spread of Coronavirus.

No time or number limit on leaving home

If you’re sticking within that 25km radius in a fair manner, there’s now no longer a 2 hour limit on your time away from home for exercise or visiting family or friends in an outdoor space. There’s also now no limit on the number of times you’re allowed to leave your home each day.

More people from each household can meet up

Up until today, Melbourne’s COVID-19 restrictions meant that you were limited to meeting a maximum of five people from a maximum of two households, not including children under the age of 12 months in outdoors public spaces. That limit is now raised to a maximum of ten people, but still only from a maximum of two households, and it has to be in a place normally accessible to everyone, such as a public park or beach.

That limit also applies to exercising in public spaces as long as you’re keeping to that 10 person/2 household rule.

More outdoor sports options

There’s more flexibility in outdoor sports choices, with some specific outdoor venues and facilities able to open, as long as they don’t rely on hired or shared equipment. So an outdoor tennis centre should be OK to run, but an indoor ten pin bowling venue would be right out.

Even then, you’re not allowed to open if you rely on public changing rooms – public toilets are acceptable however. Sports venues are limited to 10 people from two households except where groups could logically keep 100m or more from each other, such as on golf courses.

If swimming is more your style, then you’re able to have more people in a public swimming pool within the existing density rules, up to a maximum of 30 people.

Expanded permitted work options

If your work is predominantly outside, the revised Melbourne COVID-19 restrictions mean that you’ll be able to engage in that work in groups of up to 5 people, for tasks such as

  • Non-essential home maintenance and repairs, including painting
  • Outdoor pool maintenance
  • Car washing, although that’s for external car washing only, and car washing admin offices have to remain closed
  • Mobile pet washing, as long as strict contactless protocols are adhered to
  • Outdoor professional photography (including school photos) as long as the photographer has an ABN
  • Letterboxing for purposes other than local elections
  • Solar power installations

In terms of indoor work, there’s a range of new permitted occupations. Hairdressers – including mobile and at-home hairdressing and barber businesses – will be able to work as long as they’re registered and are engaging in COVIDSafe practices. You will need to have separate entrance and exit setups, however.

Hydrotherapists will be able to work using indoor pools, but that’s on a one-to-one basis with a single client, not groups. A maximum of 10 people – 5 therapists and 5 clients – will be allowed in any indoor pool at any one time.

If you’re a real estate agent, you can now have up to 10 people at an auction – outdoors only, so you’ve got to hope the weather holds – and you can hold indoors inspections again, albeit with only 1 agent and 1 prospective buyer present.

The Victorian State Government is flagging that further changes will be made to retail, hospitality and personal services businesses on 1 November, although as always that’s likely to be subject to the ongoing COVID-19 infection rate numbers. The full roadmap for Melbourne and wider Victorian COVID-19 restrictions can be found here.

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