Update: Further easing of restrictions in Victoria

The State Government has today announced a further easing of restrictions in both Regional Victoria and Metropolitan Melbourne effective from 11:59pm on Thursday 8 July 2021. This latest stage of restrictions are proposed to remain in effect for two (2) weeks, following which a further easing in restrictions is likely to occur.

Importantly, restrictions in Metropolitan Melbourne will ease to be in line with Regional Victoria. As such, our summary of the new restrictions below apply state-wide.

A table describing the changes in restrictions is attached, and a summary of those key changes are as follows:

What are the changes to restrictions?

Restrictions will be as follows:

  1. Restaurants, cafés, pubs, clubs and other licensed premises can open for seated service with no venue cap, subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 2sqm which applies when using a COVID Check-In Marshal. Otherwise, a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies. Smaller venues can have up to 25 patrons on the premises before they must comply with the density quotient. This means that a venue that can ordinarily have 25 patrons but has, for instance, only 40sqm of usable floor area, can have up to 25 patrons on the premises.
  2. Gaming machine areas can open subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 2sqm applies when using a COVID Check-In Marshal. Otherwise, a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies. Every second machine must be deactivated from play or there must be 1.5 metres between machines. COVID Marshal’s are required for any operation of gaming machine areas.
  3. Arcades, escape rooms, bingo centres and brothels can open with no venue limit. A density quotient of 1 person per 2sqm applies when using a COVID Check-In Marshal. Otherwise, a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies.
  4. Non-seated indoor entertainment venues can open with a maximum of 300 people per venue. A density quotient of 1 person per 2sqm applies when using a COVID Check-In Marshal. Otherwise, a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies.
  5. Retail, beauty and personal care can open for service. Masks can be removed for service. A density quotient of 1 person per 2sqm applies when using a COVID Check-In Marshal. Otherwise, a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies.
  6. Funerals and weddings have a limit of 300 people, subject to venue density limits.
  7. Offices will be capped at 75 per cent capacity or a maximum of 30 people, if the workplace has 40 people or less. This is subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 2sqm.  
  8. Dancefloors are permitted only with a COVID Check-In Marshal and subject to a limit of 50 people on the dancefloor at any one time. It is unclear whether a venue can operate multiple dancefloors each with a separate limit of 50 people. We will provide further comment when directions are published.
  9. 15 visitors per day, including dependents, will be permitted to gather in private residences.
  10. Public gatherings are permitted for up to 50 people.

Theatres and Stadiums

Outdoor stadiums are permitted to operate at 75% capacity up to 40,000 people. Theatres can operate at 75% capacity up to 2,000 people.

Mask Restrictions

Face masks must be carried at all times. Masks must be worn indoors, but are not required in schools or in workplaces that are not public-facing.

Masks are recommended to be worn outdoors where 1.5 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained.

We confirm that all staff of hospitality and retail venues with public-facing roles must continue to wear masks. Chefs and back-of-house staff we consider are exempt from wearing masks.

COVID Marshals

Venue’s should carefully consider circumstances where they require a COVID Marshal compared to a COVID Check-In Marshal. The latter is a COVID Marshal whose specific function is to ensure any and every attendee of the premises checks in in accordance with the Service Victoria App or any approved exemptions.

As always our office will monitor changes in the situation, provide further updates, and address any queries you may have.

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.