Crowds and visitors back as restrictions lift

Acting Premier James Merlino pictured in 2020. Picture: FILE PIC

By Danielle Kutchel

Acting Premier James Merlino has announced a major easing of Covid restrictions for Victorians as the state recorded another donut day of no new local cases.

On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, restrictions in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will ease from 11.59pm Thursday 24 June.

Private visitors to the home will increase from two in Melbourne, and five in regional Victoria to 15 across the entire state – and up to 50 people can gather outside in a public place like a park.

Funerals and weddings will be capped at 300 people, and hospitality venues can serve up to 300 in Melbourne, but density limits still apply.

Masks must still be worn inside except at home, and are recommended when you’re unable to keep a 1.5 metre distance.

The work from home recommendation has been removed however metropolitan Melbourne offices can now work to a cap of 75 per cent capacity or 30 people in a workplace, whichever is greater.

Players, parents and spectators can attend outdoor community sport within the total cap of 1000 people.

Theatres will initially open at 50 per cent capacity, with up to 1000 people.

From this weekend crowds can attend public events and outdoor stadiums with a limit of 50 per cent, or up to 25,000 people.

Dancefloors remain closed, including at weddings.

Subject to epidemiology and the advice of the Chief Health Officer, from 11.59pm on Thursday 1 July, venues will be able to host bigger numbers.

This would mean 100 per cent capacity at theatres and 85 per cent capacity at indoor and outdoor stadiums.

Those travelling to Victoria’s alpine region are still asked to get tested prior to departing metropolitan Melbourne, especially if they’re staying overnight.

The Acting Premier urged Victorians to explore their state and shop local, but warned them to stay away from storm and flood affected areas where roads may still be unsafe.

Visitors must check in using the Service Victoria QR code at every business they visit, with the Acting Premier describing it in a statement as “the seatbelt we need as we open up the state”.

The changed restrictions will remain in place for the duration of the school holidays.