Melbourne curfew is lifted as Premier details COVID-19 recovery roadmap

Melbourne curfew is lifted as  Premier details COVID-19 recovery roadmap

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions for Melbourne today, after cases have remained consistently low for the past few weeks.

Daniel Andrews held a much-anticipated press conference to unveil the “slight” eased restrictions under Step 2, including changes to public outdoor gatherings, personal training and the reopening of childcare centres.

Premier Daniel Andrews has outlined some of the changes that will be introduced from 11.59pm tonight,  includes changes to the curfew, schools and public gatherings.

The nighttime curfew will be lifted from 5am tomorrow but Mr Andrews warned a new $5000 fine would be introduced to catch out rule-breakers.

Gatherings inside a home will not be permitted and anyone caught breaking the rules now faces a $5,000.  That fine also applies for anyone gathering in large groups outside.

"If you are having a party at your house, that is unlawful. If calls are made to the police assistance line, and there has been many of them, many of them over these months, or if police are out on routine patrol and there are an inordinate amount of cars parked outside your home, there may well be a knock at the door and the penalty, they will be no warnings, no $652 fine, it is almost $5,000.” He said

Andrews confirmed that Primary school students will return to classrooms in the week beginning October 12  and childcare will open under the second step of eased restrictions. VCE students will return for assessments from October 3. Apprentices and university students in their final year of study can return to for learning onsite and assessments where necessary.

Mandatory mask wearing for Victorians will remain in place, with restrictions around the type of covering that can be worn to be tightened.

People will have to wear a fitted face mask that covers the nose and mouth when outside their homes. Face shields, bandannas and scarves will no longer be acceptable, with anyone seen wearing these risking a fine. Victorians will have a two-week adjustment period for this rule.

Outdoor weddings will be allowed, with a maximum of five people, including the couple and two witnesses. Five people, plus a faith leader, can now gather outside for faith-based activity and ceremonies.

Following are the changes to Covid Rules in Victoria:

  • Around 127000 Victorians will be able to return to work. This is almost a 30,000 increase on the number of workers that were expected to be able to return to work under stage two of the roadmap plan.
  • VCE students will be able to return to school for assessments from October 3 for Melbourne. Prep to Year 6 students, special school students and VCE and VCAL students will be able to return to on-site learning from October 12. Mr Andrews said the return will likely be staggered.
  • Five people from up to to households can now gather outside together for the purposes or social interaction or exercise.
  • The limit on one person from each household going shopping for essentials just once a day will be lifted. Mr Andrews said this wasn't an invitation for an "entire family group to go to the supermarket" and urged people to only shop for necessary items.
  • Care facilities and hospital can allow patients one visitor per day for a maximum of two hours. Patients that are under the age of 18 can have two parents or carers visit with no time limit.
  • Outdoor exercise without a facility, such a hiking or fishing will be allowed within the 5km radius and the 2 hour limit applying.
  • Non-urgent dental care will be allowed at all practices that have a COVID-safe plan.
  • Five people, plus one faith leader, will be allowed for outdoor religious services.

Andrews also flagged the next step in easing restrictions will be on October 19.