No masks indoors, limits on home gatherings lifted and no 25km travel bans: The next set of Covid restrictions likely to be relaxed in Melbourne
- Mandatory mask-wearing rules are set to be scrapped from as early as Friday
- Victoria reported five local cases Wednesday – three linked to known outbreaks
- Health officials set to discuss easing restrictions in cabinet meeting Wednesday
- The 25km travel limit, ban on guests in the home and mask rules may be eased
Mandatory mask-wearing rules are expected to be scrapped from Friday and limits on home gatherings lifted as Melbourne emerges from its harsh Covid-19 lockdown.
Victoria reported five new local cases on Wednesday – three of which are linked to known outbreaks – after recording only two additional community infections on Tuesday.
Health officials are expected to discuss easing restrictions in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning as the spread of the city’s latest outbreak slows.
The rule forcing Melburnians to wear a mask when outdoors and travel no further than 25km from their homes could then be axed from as early as 11.59pm on Thursday, The Herald Sun reported.
A woman wearing a mask sits and looks at her phone in the Bourke Street Mall on June 10. Mandatory mask-wearing rules are set to be scrapped from Friday after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning
Public gathering limits are set to rise from 10 to 20 and capacity restrictions in bars and restaurants from 100 to 150, while gyms may be allowed to re-open.
The ban on Melburnians having guests at their homes could also be lifted to bring the city’s restrictions into line with those in regional Victoria.
Since last Friday, regional Victorians are allowed to welcome a maximum of two adults per household.
The cap on community sport, which is set at 50 participants, may also be lifted.
A government source said though the restriction easing could be put off until Thursday morning.
Two pedestrians are seen exercising at Albert Park Lake in Melbourne on June 2. The restriction easing could though be put off until Thursday morning, a government source has warned
Cafes in Melbourne’s Degraves Street are pictured. Capacity restrictions in bars and restaurants are expected to rise from 100 to 150 after a meeting of Victorian government officials on Wednesday
VICTORIA’S SOCIAL DISTANCING RESTRICTIONS
From Friday, June 11:
What you can do:
Travel 25km from your house
Have an outdoor gathering with up to 10 people
Go to school for face-to-face learning
Go to a funeral with maximum 50 people and weddings at 10
Go to restaurants and cafes to reopen, with a maximum 100 people outside and 50 people inside
Go to retail shops, with a one person per four square metre density limit
Get your hair done with a mask on
Play community sport with 50 people outdoors
What you can’t do
Have a party, stand at bars, go to a nightclub or concert
Have any guests round to your house
Go to the gym
Travel further than 25km from your home unless in exceptional circumstances
Regional Victoria – already subject to the above rules, but with extra easing
Visit another home, with a cap of two adults per household
Gather in pubic with up to 20 people
Go to a restaurant or cafes with up to 150 people seated outdoors or 75 indoors
Attend a religious ceremony, with a cap of 150 people outdoors or 75 indoors
Attend a funerals with a cap of 75 and weddings with a maximum of 20
In addition to five new local cases, the state’s health officials said three infections were also acquired overseas from 17,538 tests in the past 24 hours.
Three of the cases are linked to known outbreaks, Victoria’s Department of Health said.
The state on Tuesday afternoon previously recorded two surprise new cases of coronavirus linked to a townhouse where an aged care worker tested positive.
Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed the two new coronavirus cases recorded on Tuesday were linked to the Kings Park Apartment Complex on Dodds and Wells Streets in Southbank
Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed the new cases were linked to the Kings Park Apartment Complex on Dodds and Wells Streets in Southbank.
The cases, both men, will be included in Wednesday’s tally – as a mass testing initiative of the building is now underway.
More than 200 people have been tested so far and the building is locked down until they confirm it hasn’t spread further.
Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said the two new cases live in separate apartments ‘adjacent to the four other positive cases that we’ve already seen in that wider complex’.
Victoria has recorded two shock new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday afternoon linked to the Southbank townhouse where an aged care worker tested positive
He said the chance of spreading between apartments was low and supported the idea of people remaining in their flats despite problems with cross-infection in hotels.
‘We don’t have any evidence of apartment-to-apartment transition like in hotel quarantine,’ Weimar said.
‘I don’t think we see the direct parallels.’
Hundreds of people who live in the low-rise complex were forced into self-isolation on Sunday, after authorities established a link between two previous coronavirus cases who live there.
A total of six people who live in the apartment have tested positive for Covid-19.
‘Those two positive cases are connected to some communal areas that we are concerned about, thoroughfares within that particular complex,’ Weimar told reporters.
The first three cases were transferred to hotel quarantine upon testing positive.
One positive case, a baby, is still in the complex with its mother.
Mr Foley said more than 200 residents were tested on Sunday.