Further easing of lockdown restrictions in Victoria

Staff writers

PREMIER Daniel Andrews has today announced a further easing of lockdown restrictions in Victoria.

From Monday, June 22, libraries, community centres and halls will be able to open to 50 people.

Religious ceremonies can also increase to 50.

From the same day, pubs and clubs will be able to host up to 50 seated patrons, with no requirement to purchase a meal with a drink, however people will need to provide their contact details and table service restrictions will still apply.

From July 20, TABs and electronic gaming areas at pubs, clubs and the casino will be reopened with strict distancing, cleaning and hygiene requirements.

Recognising the lower rate of transmission amongst younger people, all sports training and competition will resume for those 18 years and under.

Non-contact sports competition can also begin across every age group.

Indoor sports centres and physical recreation spaces like gyms will be able to open to 20 people per space, with a cap of up to 10 per group for those over the age of 18.

Local footy teams, soccer clubs and other contact sports will be able to resume training for over 18s from July 13.

From July 20, full competition can begin.

Supporting this gradual return to sport, clubs and community facilities will also be able to reopen their changerooms.

The same will apply to holiday accommodation and camping sites, with communal spaces like showers and kitchens soon to be available to visitors.

In line with previously proposed changes, and from June 22, restaurants and cafes will also be able to increase the number of patrons to 50.

Cinemas, concert venues, theatres and auditoriums can open, also with up to 50 people per space.

The same increased limit will apply to galleries, museums and amusement parks.

From June 22, ski season and ski accommodation will also open.

Mr Andrews said the timing on any future changes remains subject to the advice of Chief Health Officer, Professor Brett Sutton.

“Because as far as we’ve come – it’s not over yet,” he said.

“And for every small step we take, our own personal responsibility grows.

“It’s why we’re asking Victorians: keep washing your hands. Keep maintaining your distance. Download COVIDSafe.

“And if you can keep working from home – you must do that too.

“We still want to limit the number of people moving around our state and help protect those who do have to go to the workplace.”

Mr Andrews said Victoria’s testing rates were among the highest in the world.

“We’re also asking Victorians to keep getting tested. We’ve been able to make these changes because testing gives us the insight and information we need,” he said.

“But we can’t afford a backwards step. These changes – and any further that follow – must be determined in accordance with the data.

“That’s why, in addition to ongoing testing, we’re stepping-up our targeted testing too. Zeroing in on communities with low testing rates or high case numbers.

“If you have symptoms, no matter how mild, you must get tested. Because we all have a part to play.”