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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Melbourne COVID-19 restrictions ease: Curfew lifted, students to return to primary schools

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In a lengthy press conference today, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced several changes that will take effect from 11.59pm on Sunday (tonight).

From 5 am Monday, curfew will be scrapped. Premier Andrews denied that the reason for removing the curfew was due to a legal challenge launched by Michelle Loielo, a Mornington Peninsula cafe owner.

Loielo has sought to have the curfew declared “unlawful and invalid”. The legal matter is due to be heard before Supreme Court Justice Tim Ginnane tomorrow (Monday).

RETURN TO ONSITE LEARNING

  • Primary school students, VCE/VCAL and specialist schools return to onsite learning on October 12 (second week of term 4)
  • Apprentices and uni students in their final year of study will be able to attend onsite for learning and assessment where necessary

CHILD CARE

  • Childcare centres will be open to all children, and the 5-kilometre limit does not apply. One child minder is allowed for in-home childcare.

CURFEW

  • The curfew will be removed from 5 am on Monday. A new $5,000 fine for unlawful gatherings will be introduced when the curfew ends.

SHOPPING

  • The one-person limit on people from a household going shopping will be lifted, but the 5km limit still applies.

REAL ESTATE

  • Private inspections can resume for real estate
  • Auctions will remain online only

SMALL GATHERINGS

  • Weddings will be allowed outdoors, with a limit of five people, including the couple and two witnesses.
  • Outdoor religious gatherings and ceremonies will be allowed, but with a limit of five people plus one faith leader.
  • Up to five people from no more than two households will be able to gather outside.
  • Visits to cemeteries and resting places will be allowed, subject to conditions.
  • People who are terminally ill will be able to gather with up to 10 other people to meet outdoors or attend entertainment or a recreation venue, subject to conditions and the Chief Health Officer’s approval.
  • Children under 12 months of age will not be counted in the 10-person limit.

HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE

  • More medical, health and allied professionals will be allowed to offer face-to-face services for non-urgent care
  • Elective surgery will be ramped up to 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels
  • Rules around visiting hospitals and care facilities will also be slightly relaxed. People in hospitals and care facilities will be allowed to have one visitor per day for a maximum of two hours. If patients are under 18 years of age, they can have two parents or carers visit, with no time limit.
  • Dentists will be able to resume providing non-urgent services.
  • Non-urgent allied healthcare will be allowed to commence again, with a COVID safe plan.

EXERCISE

  • Melburnians can now exercise within a 5-kilometre radius of their workplaces, if they are able to work on-site, as well as their homes. You must carry your essential worker permit if you are exercising near your workplace.
  • There is still a two-hour limit on outdoor exercise time, and facilities such as tennis and bowls clubs will remain closed.
  • Outdoor exercise without a facility, such as fishing or hiking, will be allowed — as long as it’s within that 5km radius.
  • Outdoor pools will be able to open, with conditions.
  • Outdoor personal training will be allowed, with a limit of two people plus one personal trainer.

WORK

  • An extra 127,000 workers on various industries can return in Melbourne with COVID-safe plans in place
  • Warehousing, postal and distribution centres, upermarkets and food distribution centres to return to full capacity
  • Abattoirs, seafood and meat processing plants increase capacity to safe levels
  • Manufacturing returns to 90 per cent capacity
  • Retail pet grooming resumes
  • Outside gardening and landscaping returns
  • Wholesale businesses that were previously closed, will be allowed to open at 67 per cent of their normal daily worker levels.
  • The workforce capacity will be increased to 80 per cent for meat and seafood processing, and 90 per cent for poultry.

New $5000 fine for illegal gatherings

A new fine for illegal gatherings, including visitors over to your home, meeting outdoors in big groups – will be increased to the same penalty for travelling into regional Victoria without a valid reason.

Face masks

You will now be required to wear a face mask whenever you leave home, covering your nose and mouth. Face coverings such as a scarf, bandana or face shield are no longer permitted.

Premier Dan Andrews holds a press conference | Source: ABC News from YouTube

The next step

Step 3 in Melbourne’s roadmap has been brought forward from October 26 to October 19.

Step 3 will include: no restrictions to leave home; household bubbles with up to 5 visitors; reopening of hairdressers; public gatherings of up to 10 people; religious gatherings outdoors of up to 10 people outdoors; interstate travel; restaurants can open to serve outdoors; and outdoor group fitness and non-contact sport of up to 10 people.


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