Victorians will begin to emerge from 12 days of lockdown tonight, with a range of restrictions eased statewide from midnight on July 27.
Restaurants, gyms, retailers and personal grooming businesses can reopen, but with density limits, with Victoria’s ski fields reopening too, although skiers will need to return a negative Covid test before heading to the slopes. Masks remain compulsory indoors and outside.
The reopening comes as Sydney’s five-week lockdown looks set to continue for several more weeks with a record 172 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases. Alarmingly, 60 of cases were in the community while infectious and contact tracers are hunting for the source of infection for more than half of the new cases.
With just 4 days to go before the current lockdown is due to end this Friday night, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian refused to reveal the government’s plans during today’s briefing on Covid cases.
“I’m hoping to make those announcements as early as tomorrow, to give people plenty of notice,” she said.
NSW recorded 172 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Of these locally acquired cases, 85 are linked to a known case or cluster – 66 are household contacts and 19 are close contacts – the source of infection for 87 cases is under investigation pic.twitter.com/yS2PLDxXKw
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 27, 2021
Meanwhile, Victoria had 10 new cases, but they were not in the community during the infectious period.
Victoria now has 198 active cases, NSW has 2,123 active cases.
Reported yesterday: 10 new local cases and no new cases acquired overseas.
– 15,677 vaccine doses were administered
– 24,340 test results were received
More later: https://t.co/lIUrl1hf3W#COVID19Vic #COVID19VicData [1/2] pic.twitter.com/fBytxd8pL1
— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) July 26, 2021
From midnight Tuesday, Victorians will be able to leave their homes for any reason. Restaurants and cafes can also reopen for seated service. Retail and beauty and personal care will open in line with density limits, as will entertainment venues and community facilities.
The Authorised Worker List no longer apply in Victoria, so businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits of 1 person per 4 sq metres.
Victoria’s rule that ‘if you can work from home, you should work from home’ will be in place, but office workers can return to their workplace at a capacity of up to 25% or up to 10 people, whichever is greater.
More importantly, schools will reopen for onsite learning to all students from tomorrow.
Public gatherings will be allowed with up to 10 people, with infants under 12 months not included in the cap.
Some important limits remain however, and gatherings in the home are still not allowed.
People will only be able to book accommodation with their household, intimate partner or single bubble person.
Skiers can head to the snow again, but Victoria’s alpine resorts will require a Covid test and receipt of a negative result within 72 hours prior to their visit. Children under 12 years of age are not required to be tested.
Live music venues, dance classes and physical recreation facilities, including gyms, will all open with density requirements of 1 person per 4sqm.
A maximum of 50 people will be permitted at weddings.
Funerals will also have a cap of 50 mourners, plus those conducting the funeral. Infants under 12 months are not included in the cap for either.
Masks will continue to be required everywhere indoors and outdoors (except private residences), unless an exception applies. Results from a recent Burnet Institute study show that masks played a huge role in slowing the spread of the virus in 2020 – and they will be an important part of our defences against the virus for some time to come.
The cross-border bubble with NSW will be tightened, with the local government regions of the City of Wagga Wagga, Hay Shire, Lockhart Shire and Murrumbidgee on the NSW side will no longer be included in the cross border bubble. They will be part of the Extreme Risk Zone from 11:59pm tonight, in line with the rest of NSW and residents will need a Specified Worker Permit, transit permit, or an exemption to enter Victoria.
For more information on the latest COVIDSafe settings please visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.