Update: Lockdown to end in regional Victoria from 11:59pm tonight

In a welcome but surprise announcement, the Victorian Government has today announced that lockdown will end in regional Victoria from 11:59pm tonight, with restrictions returning to those in place prior to the current lockdown.

There are no changes to restrictions in Metropolitan Melbourne at this time.

A press statement and table of restrictions is attached.

New Regional Victoria restrictions

From 11:59pm restrictions in regional Victoria will ease and allow as follows:

1.     There is no longer a stay at home requirement.

2.     Restaurants, cafés, pubs, clubs and other licensed premises can open for seated service with a maximum patron cap of 100 people per venue.

A density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies, but venues can have up to 25 patrons on the premises before they must comply with the density quotient.

COVID Check-In Marshal’s are required to ensure patrons check in.

3.     Gaming machine areas can open to a maximum of 100 people per venue. 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 Check-In Marshal’s are required to ensure patrons check in.

4.     Arcades, escape rooms, bingo centres and brothels can open to a maximum of 100 people per venue. A density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies.  

5.     Indoor fixed seated entertainment can open with up to 100 people per space in indoor fixed seating areas. Outdoor fixed seated entertainment can open up to a maximum of 300 people per outdoor space.  Indoor non-seated entertainment venues can open up to a maximum of 100 people per space. A density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies in non-seated areas. COVID Check-in Marshals must ensure attendees check-in.

6.     Amusement parks can open with a maximum of 100 people per indoor space and 300 people per outdoor space. A density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies. COVID Check-in Marshals must ensure attendees check-in.

7.     Retail can open subject to the density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm. Check-in is required. A venue smaller than 100sqm can have up to 25 people per venue before the density quotient applies.

8.     Hairdressing, beauty and personal care can open. Masks can be removed for service. A density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies but a venue can have up to 25 patrons before the density quotient applies.

9.     Funerals and weddings have a limit of 50 people, subject to venue density limits. Dance floors are not permitted.

10.  Physical recreation and community sport can open subject to:

–       a maximum patron cap of 100 people per space indoors and 300 per space outdoors.

–       a density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies to all areas.

–       COVID Check-in Marshals must ensure attendees check-in.

Community sport is limited to the number of people required to participate in and facilitate the activity.

11.  Offices will be capped at 25 per cent capacity or a maximum of 10 people, whichever is greater.  

12.  Visitors in private residences are not permitted.

13.  Public gatherings are permitted for up to 10 people.

Face Coverings

A mask must continue to be worn indoors and outdoors except if at home or if an exception applies.

Masks must be carried at all times.

Travel Between Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria

Travel is not permitted between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne except for a permitted reason – i.e. travelling for permitted work.

Requirements on Venues to Check IDs

Businesses that are open in regional Victoria but closed in Melbourne, such as restaurants for dine-in service, must check the IDs of everyone they serve.

Further particulars of what actions staff must take to satisfy the ID checking requirement will be contained within the directions – including, for instance, compliance for any un-staffed facilities.

In 2020, businesses in regional Victoria were required to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to ascertain the residence of each customer before serving that customer.

This did not require staff to manually check identification, and nor was a venue in breach of the directions if a resident of metropolitan Melbourne attends a business premises. The example cited in the directions is an unstaffed facility with swipe-card or digital sign-in requirements to obtain a postcode of residence. Even though this measure would not prevent access to a premises, it satisfied the enquiry requirements.

We will review the current requirements on venues when directions are issued and provide a further update.

Business Support

The Premier stated during questioning that business support payments and employee support payments for regional Victorian businesses and staff will apply as previously announced despite the shortening of the lockdown to less than 7 days.

Victorians will still be eligible for COVID-19 Disaster Payments if they have lost the required number of hours of work during the lockdown.

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.