Greater Melbourne, including the City of Whittlesea, will remain in lockdown for a further seven days, but restrictions will ease in regional Victoria from 11:59pm tomorrow night.

The five reasons to leave home remain for Melbourne, with some changes from tomorrow night. The five-kilometre radius for exercising and shopping will be extended to 10 kilometres; students in year 11 and 12 will return to face-to-face learning; and several outdoor jobs will be added to the authorised list – such as landscaping, painting and installing solar panels.

“We now have 60 local cases and more than 350 exposure sites. And a variant of the virus that is quicker and more
contagious than we’ve seen before,” Acting Premier James Merlino said.

With no community transmission in regional Victoria this week, regional restrictions are proposed to begin easing
from 11:59pm tomorrow night.

The five reasons to leave home will be lifted.

All year levels and all students will return to face-to-face schooling. Junior outdoor sports matches will return, but only adult outdoor sports training will be permitted.

Public outdoor gatherings will be increased to 10 people, while Restaurants and cafés can reopen to a maximum of 50.

Retail, beauty and personal care, entertainment venues and community facilities will also open in line with density limits.

Religious ceremonies and funerals will be capped at 50, weddings at 10.

People travelling from regional Victoria to Melbourne must follow Melbourne’s restrictions.

Regional Victorians will be able to travel in regional Victoria. Melburnians will not.

“Even if all goes well, we won’t be able to have people from Melbourne travelling to regional Victoria on the Queen’s Birthday weekend,” Mr Merlino said.

He said there had been cases of people breaking the rules, so in regional Victoria, all restaurants, beauty and retail businesses must not only employ QR check-in codes, but must also check the ID and address of each visitor.

QR check-ins will now also be required in all retail settings, including supermarkets.

Mr Merlino said the health advise to lock down greater Melbourne for a further seven days – one full cycle of the virus – was to make sure they understand how and where this variant was moving.

“What we’re seeing now is something else – something even more serious. At least one in 10 current cases have
caught this virus from a stranger,” Mr Merlino said.

“People brushing against each other in a small shop. Getting a take-away coffee from the same cafe. Being in the
same place, at the same time for mere moments. Just walking past someone you’ve never met can mean the virus is jumping to a whole new network.

“The best way to stop the virus is vaccination. But as we know, with only two per cent of the population fully
vaccinated – if we let this thing run then cases will explode.”

Leave a Reply