Update: Victoria to further relax COVIDSafe settings

The State Government has today announced a further easing of COVIDSafe restrictions effective from 6pm Friday 26 March.

What are the changes to restrictions?

The State Government has published a table summarising the restrictions for the next period, a copy of which is attached along with the Media Release from Acting Premier James Merlino.

Changes to restrictions will notably include as follows:

  • Masks will no longer be required in retail settings. Victorians will still be required to carry a mask at all times and wear a mask on public transport, in rideshare vehicles and taxis, and in sensitive settings such as aged care facilities and hospitals.
  • Victorians will be able to host up to 100 people in their home each day. Outdoor gatherings in public places can also increase to 200 people.
  • Density limits in venues still operating under more restrictive settings – like casinos, karaoke venues and nightclubs – will move from 1 person per 4 sqm to 1 person per 2sqm. This is in line with the existing restrictions for cafes, pubs and restaurants. There is no further easing of density restrictions for cafes, pubs and restaurants.
  • The 50 patron cap for dancefloors will be removed, and the patron capacity will be in accordance with the density quotient for the venue.
  • Capacity limits for indoor non-seated entertainment venues will increase from 50 per cent to 75 per cent capacity, with a maximum limit of 1,000 people per space.
  • The 75 per cent cap on officer workers for the private and public sector will be removed.
  • The restriction on the operation of gaming machines appears to be easing to allow for 100% of gaming machines to operate, subject to a density quotient of 1 per 2 sqm. This change was not stated explicitly, however the table of new directions makes no reference to the requirement that adjoining gaming machines have to be deactivated.

All hospitality, exercise and recreation, entertainment, retail and other public venues will be required to use the Services VIC app or a government API-linked digital system for electronic record keeping. Venues will have a 28-day compliance amnesty from the commencement of the new restrictions.

Updated directions will be published by the DHHS upon the commencement of the new restrictions on Friday evening.

The State Government’s industry guidance sector website has not yet been updated to reflect the new changes. As and when relevant changes are announced we will communicate these to clients.

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.