25 km radius
Your questions answered: Which COVID-19 restrictions will ease …
People will now be able to travel in a 25-kilometre radius from their homes, up from five kilometres. You cant travel beyond the metropolitan boundary, even if it is …
Coronavirus Victoria: Which COVID-19 restrictions will ease and what does this mean for Melburnians?Your questions answered: Which COVID-19 restrictions will ease and what this means for MelburniansLog inOpenMenu0 items in ShortlistcloseSearch SiteShow subsectionsShow subsectionsShow subsectionsShow subsectionsShow subsectionsShow subsectionsShow subsectionsShow subsectionsShow subsectionsShow subsectionsPremiumMoreThe AgeAdvertisementYour questions answered: Which COVID-19 restrictions will ease and what this means for MelburniansFor our free coronavirus pandemic coverage, and Updated October 18, 2020 — 6.29pmfirst published at 5.15pmNormal text sizeLarger text sizeVery large text size
After more than 100 days in lockdown, from 11.59pm on Sunday the state government will change many of the COVID-19 restrictions that govern daily life in Melbourne, but what does this mean for the city's residents?
Many questions also remain about what Melburnians will be allowed and not allowed to do on Monday, from November 2 and beyond. We’ve attempted to answer a few:
How far can I go from my home?
People will now be able to travel in a 25-kilometre radius from their homes, up from five kilometres. You can't travel beyond the metropolitan boundary, even if it is within your 25-kilometre radius.
Melburnians will be able to travel within a 25-kilometre radius of home.Credit:Getty Images
What reasons can I leave my home for?
People must continue to stay at home unless for the four permitted reasons – to shop for food and other necessary goods; for care or compassionate reasons; for work or education; for exercise or social interaction. From Monday, though, this now includes a chop and colour at a hairdresser.
From 11.59pm on November 1, the four reasons to leave home will be scrapped.
How long can I go outside and exercise for?
Melburnians will be able to exercise or socialise outdoors for as long as they like as of Monday, as the two-hour time limit will be abolished.
How many people can I meet outdoors?
As of Monday, 10 people from two different households can gather outside. As of November 2, the two-house rule will be scrapped but the 10-person cap will remain.
How many people can visit my home?
For now, Melburnians in single-person bubbles and intimate partners remain the only people who can visit someone else's home.
From November 2, Melbourne households can host up to two people (plus their children) once a day. All single-person bubble and exclusive arrangements will be scrapped.
What sports can I play?
Tennis, golf, bocce and skate parks are back from Monday under the new changes. Outdoor facilities will cap the numbers allowed to 10 at a time, unless groups can be kept at least 100 metres apart, such as at golf courses. Fitness and dance classes are still banned. Outdoor pools can now host up to 30 swimmers. One-on-one hydrotherapy sessions with health professionals will be allowed at indoor pools.
You cannot travel beyond 25 kilometres to exercise. Up to 10 people from two households can exercise together. A personal trainer can work with up to only two people outside.
From November 2, Melburnians aged under 18 can play contact sport. At the same time, adults can return to playing non-contact sports in greater numbers. Gyms will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
Which tradespeople can come to my house?
Non-essential outdoor home maintenance such as pool maintenance and renovations such as house painting are back on, with up to five tradies allowed at your home. The fine print means they're not allowed to do any non-essential jobs inside your home.
Do we still have to wear masks?
Yes you do whenever you leave the house, unless you have an exemption. Premier Daniel Andrews is yet to announce a date for the relaxation of mask rules, but it won't be soon.
Which medical professionals can I now see in person?
Those on the permitted allied health services list can operate from Monday. This means people who have been using select telehealth services may return to face-to-face care if they choose.
The government is expected to provide more detail on which services are permitted on Monday.
Can I get my hair cut?
Yes! Goodbye home haircuts, mullets and grey streaks. Hairdressers can reopen from Monday. Beauty and personal services must remain closed though until November 2, when people can book in for their long-awaited pedicures.
Can I sit in a restaurant or cafe?
Hospitality venues will be able to open from November 2. A maximum of 20 people will be allowed to sit indoors, while up to 50 could sit outdoors, subject to social distancing, council laws and density requirements. Group bookings will be capped at 10 people. Food courts will remain as takeaway and delivery services only.
When can I go clothes shopping in person?
From November 2, stores will be back open for in-store shopping, with density and social-distancing restrictions.
What are the rules on weddings, funerals and religious gatherings?
From November 2, up to 10 people will be able to attend weddings and up to 20 mourners will be allowed to attend funerals. Outdoor religious gatherings will also increase to 20 people.
Can I go to a house auction?
Yes, put in your bids – but only 10 people can attend, so spectators will be moved on. Commercial real estate inspections will also begin.
Can I get my car washed and my pet groomed?
Solo and automatic car washes return to business from Monday. Those operating mobile pet grooming businesses can reopen.
What can I do for fun?
No official, organised outdoor entertainment will be allowed in Melbourne until November 2, when big outdoor venues with no seating – such as Melbourne Zoo – can reopen. Outdoor seated entertainment will also return then with a cap of 50 people or 25 per cent of the venue’s fixed-seat capacity. It is still unclear what this means for watching sports such as, say, a horse race on the first Tuesday in November.
When can I visit my second property in regional Victoria for maintenance?
Melburnians who own a property in regional or rural Victoria will be able to travel to these from Wednesday this week, but only for flood or fire preparation. Property owners will need to get a letter from their local councils which will have instructions from police and the Chief Health Officer. The restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne, though, travel with you, so no meal allowed at the local pub and no visiting the neighbours.
When can Melburnians travel to regional Victoria?
There will be no changes to the “ring of steel” in the coming weeks. In fact, the borders surrounding metropolitan Melbourne will be bolstered with more checkpoints and more cars checked.
Can I go to an AFL party or watch the game over a barbecue with friends?
No. Friends and family are not allowed to your house to watch the match as Richmond and Geelong battle it out for the top spot.
What do the new changes mean for those living in regional Victoria?
From October 19 :
As many different families as you like can visit your home but only two adults and two dependants per day.Hospitality venues can increase their capacity to 70 people sitting outside and 40 people sitting inside.Outdoor religious gatherings can rise to 20 people.Libraries and toy libraries will reopen with group limits.Households can visit aged care facilities.
From November 2:
Victorians under 18 can go back to non-contact indoor sport, including dance classes, with a maximum of 20 people, and minors can also return to indoor swimming pools.Readers questions:
We've also invited readers to also submit their own questions in response to the new rules. Below are some of those we received and the answers we can provide at this stage.
From November 2, can we have picnics with 10 people from as many households as we like? Or 10 people from two households?
Yes. From November 2, up to 10 people may gather outdoors from any number of households (children under the age of 12 months are not included in the limit), or more than 10 if all people are from the same household.
When will intrastate travel be allowed?
Here’s what the Premier had to say about Melburnians travelling to regional Victoria and vice versa: “So long as we have got the differences … the science that tells us Melbourne is different to the regions, we will have those [borders]. The checkpoints will be gone as soon we can, but we’re not in that position yet. I would like to have a situation by Christmas where people can travel more freely”.
But there is no definite date, so best not to hold our breaths.
What happens if cases go up significantly?
We don’t know yet. The government is trying to prevent a third wave and a third lockdown, and all the talk has been around bringing numbers under control so, as the Premier said, we don’t “ping pong in and out of restrictions”.
The government’s PDF says the 25-kilometre limit will be scrapped on November 2. But the Premier said it will stay after that. Is the document right or is he right?
He wasn’t unequivocal about the 25-kilometre limit staying in place into November. Depending on case numbers it could go beyond November 2, so he hasn’t ruled out extending it.
I’m in metropolitan Melbourne. Can I leave the house and just go for a drive within my 25-kilometre zone?
Not until the Third Step which is slated for November 2. But you can drive to your favourite exercise spot if it's within 25 kilometres of your home.
Outdoor photographers are allowed to work. Are there any restrictions on how far they can travel? Say I want to go to the Twelve Apostles, or Phillip Island, or the CBD, which are all further than 25 kilometres? Do I have to carry a work permit as a sole trader?
Permitted workers are able to travel freely (but must abide by Melbourne restrictions in regional Victoria). And you do need a permit.
I need some sort of indication when gyms will be able to open. For my mental wellbeing I'm desperate to get back into the gym.
Unfortunately there’s no date. Even though many restrictions have been considerably eased in regional Victoria, gyms are still unable to open because they are considered high risk. The Premier said there “will be a time” when we can look at reopening restrictions, but that time is not now.
Can I travel more than 25 kilometres to go to a MRI appointment that has already been arranged earlier in the year?
Yes. Regardless of what step or stage we are in, you can travel as far as you need for medical appointments.
When will the level of restrictions for after November 2 be announced?
Any news on the possibility of NSW re-opening their border to Victorians (especially given they are putting pressure on Queensland to open up whilst their cases are higher than Victoria's). Any bringing forward of schools returning for all year levels?
No, not yet. Premier Daniel Andrews and Premier Gladys Berejiklian haven’t spoken about bringing down the border yet. And nothing on bringing forward the return of school students to the classroom.
Can golf be played in groups of four?
No. The Premier specifically went to the point of golf at his press conference today and said: “Golf is normally played in fours. I do not think it will be played in fours. I think it will be played in less than that. There is usually some equipment that is shared, breaks and bunkers and things like that. I do not think that will be the case. They will be different steps in different settings to try to make it as safe as possible, and for instance, the clubhouse at the tennis club or the golf club will not be open”.
When will museums and art galleries reopen in Melbourne?
Non-seated outdoor museums can reopen from November 2. Indoor venues will still remain closed as part of the Third Step.
Can we please get some clarity around what is happening with offices and what the expectations will be around how that will work?
This still remains in the air. On Sunday, the Premier said working from home will remain in place “for some time”. The government is still working with businesses and industry groups about returning to the office, but there are concerns around workers congregating in stairwells, touching lift buttons, meeting in tea rooms, catching a crowded public transport to get to and from work.
So I still need a work permit if my work is more than 25 kilometres from my home (which it is)?
You still need a permitted worker permit even if you work within 25 kilometres of your home.
Is the rule for a metropolitan and a rural partner to visit each other the same as before?
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Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.
Sumeyya is a state political reporter for The Age.
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