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Covid-19

Victoria is relaxing mask rules and preparing to return to the office after a ‘CovidSafe Summer’

- December 6, 2020 3 MIN READ
Photo: AdobeStock
Victorians will only have a wear masks when using public transport, taking taxis or rideshares, and for indoor shopping from midnight tonight under further relaxations to the state’s Covid-19 restrictions announced by Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday.

The “COVIDSafe Summer” will be in place until at least the end of January, and the government is looking ramp up people returning to the office from January 11.

“For those sick of only seeing their colleagues in a square on the screen, we’ll be able to move to a 50% return for office workers by 11 January, after considering the public health advice at the time,” the Premier said.

“For the Victorian public service, up to 25% will be able to return to the office from 11 January, moving up to 50% on 8 February.”

Night clubs will reopen and as previously announced, Victorians can host up to 30 people in their homes. Outdoor gatherings in public places – the beach, the park – can increase to 100 people.

“Until we have a vaccine – and even then, until we have a widely distributed vaccine – some aspects of these rules and restrictions must continue to be part of our reality,” Andrews said.

“These are the restrictions that will see us through the summer months – and living as normally as we can until we get a greater sense of what the rest of 2021 will look like.”

Wearing a mask will still apply for indoor shopping centres, supermarkets, department stores and indoor markets.

“While masks are no longer mandated in most circumstances, the evidence is clear wearing a face covering makes a real difference in slowing the spread of the virus – so masks continue to be recommended indoors or outdoors when distancing can’t be maintained,” the Premier said.

“They must be worn in indoor shopping centres and supermarkets and department stores, for instance, Kmart or Myer, IKEA, Bunnings, JB Hi-Fi just to give you a few examples.”

He recommended people still carry masks with them as a precaution.

Density limits in pubs, restaurants and cafes drop to one person per 2 square metres (sqm) for both indoors and outdoors with no other cap. Electronic record keeping – a QR code – is mandatory. For small operations, there are no density limits if they host less than 25 patrons.

“You don’t have to be seated. You are able to stand at the public bar,” Premier Andrews said.

The one person per 2sqm rule also applies for retail and beauty services, businesses if they also introduce electronic record keeping. If that’s not possible, the existing density limits will continue to apply.

The cap for funerals and weddings is gone, subject to a new density limit of 1 person per 2sq metres. If you want to bust a move, dancefloors will be able to host up to 50 people, with a density of 1 person per 4sqm.

The same rules will apply to nightclubs and community facilities such as libraries, RSLs, and community halls.

In gyms, the density limit will be 1 per 4sq metres – with exercise classes limited to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.

And more relaxed restrictions for our entertainment venues will see more Victorians enjoying everything that makes us the cultural capital of Australia.

“As always, this won’t be everything for everyone. But these are the careful steps we can take as we continue to protect our state and everything we’re built,” Andrews said.

“Victoria, enjoy your summer.”

The full details of the new rules and restrictions are available here.

Today the state posted its 37th consecutive day without a new coronavirus case.

International flights will start landing again at Tullamarine from Monday.