Update: Restrictions to ease in Regional Victoria

In accordance with the earlier announcements from the State Government, it has been confirmed today that Regional Victoria will come out of lockdown from 11:59pm on Thursday 9 September 2021 and will enjoy some limited commercial operations, subject to restrictions.

A table of restrictions summarising the changes is attached.

Please refer to the table for a comprehensive list of changes. A summary of the key changes are as follows:

Regional Victoria

  1. People can leave home for any reason, and travel into Metropolitan Melbourne for specified purposes (goods and services, work/education, etc.)
  2. Outdoor public gatherings can occur with up to 10 people.
  3. Hospitality premises will re-open with up to 10 persons indoors and 20 outdoors. A density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm applies to all indoor and outdoor spaces. These numbers appear to be overall maximums rather than per space based on today’s press conference.
  4. Function centres will open with a maximum of 20 per space.
  5. Electronic gaming is permitted with a maximum of 10 people per venue within the overall hospitality cap. A density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies. No details are published regarding any spacing of EGMs, although we consider it likely that the previous controls regarding spacing will continue to apply.
  6. Retail TAB settings are open subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm.
  7. Indoor and outdoor seated and standing entertainment facilities can open subject to restrictions.
  8. Arcades, escape rooms and bingo centres remain closed.
  9. Indoor play centres, sports facilities and gyms remain closed.
  10. Outdoor sports and recreation can open subject to restrictions.
  11. Funerals are capped at 20 attendees, weddings at 10.
  12. Offices are capped at 25%, subject to a density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm.
  13. Visitors to the home are not permitted.
  14. Schools will open for in Regional Victoria for Prep to Grade 2 and Year 12 only. Remote learning will continue for other year levels.

The table is written with a lot of inconsistent language in terms of when density quotients do or do not apply, or whether patron capacities are ‘per space’ or overall.

There are also changes to a number of requirements for wearing of masks. Notably, the exemption where masks may be removed where persons are consuming food or drink are no longer to apply in retail settings – meaning patrons must not eat or drink and remove their masks in this setting.

A further clarifying update will be provided on Friday morning when the formal directions have been published.

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.