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Melbourne lockdown to lift, restrictions to further ease for regional Victoria

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The circuit-breaker lockdown in greater Melbourne will lift at 11.59pm Thursday night, while restrictions will further ease for regional Victoria.

Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino has announced this morning the five reasons to leave home will be scrapped, and the 10-kilometre travel limit will be extended to 25 kilometres.

Melburnians will only be allowed to travel further than 25 kilometres for work, education, care and caregiving, and to be vaccinated. Travel into regional Victoria to visit family and friends or take a holiday remains off limits for now.

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Home visits remain banned in Melbourne, but outdoor gatherings are permitted up to 10 people. Melbourne schools will be able to resume face-to-face learning for all students from Friday.

Cafes, restaurants and pubs will open – with strict safety measures like density limits, seated service and QR codes in place. Remaining retail will also open. Hairdressing, beauty and personal care can resume, but only for services where masks can be kept on. Anyone who can work from home should continue to do so.

For businesses forced to remain closed, a further $8 million has been announced in support packages, offering a further $2000 for each business.

Weddings will be limited to 10 people, and funerals no more than 50. Fifty will also be the limit on religious gatherings. Swimming pools, entertainment venues and community facilities will also open subject to density limits. Community sport is restricted to training.

Regional restrictions to change

Starting Friday, regional Victorians can have two visitors plus dependants allowed into their homes each day, and public gatherings limits will increase to 20 people.

Indoor and outdoor sport will resume for training and competitions, and gyms will be allowed to reopen with density limits.

There’ll also be increases to the capacity limits at places like restaurants, entertainment venues, community facilities and religious gatherings.

Mr Merlino said today was a good day, and that more announcements would be made about easing restrictions next week.

He said Melbourne’s restrictions could further ease next week.

“I want to assure people, subject to public health advice, we’ll have more to say about what further stages of easing will look like next week,” he said.

“That includes the regional border coming down and Victorians being able to travel more freely around the state.

“For Melbourne, we’ll also look to further ease restrictions on venues and get community sport back to competition.

“We’ll also look at what more can be done to ease restrictions for businesses, without risking the gains we have made. Further work will also be done on easing for regional Victoria.”

He encouraged everyone across the state to get vaccinated and to get tested if they were feeling unwell or experiencing any symptoms similar to a cold.

More details on eased restrictions is available here.

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