Victorians can now invite five friends or family members over, attend mass or tee off at their favourite golf course, as the state officially relaxes its coronavirus restrictions.
The new rules came into effect on Wednesday allowing Victorians to have five friends or family members over to their home, but Premier Daniel Andrews has warned it is “not an invitation to host a dinner party every night of the week”.
READ MORE: Nearly 100 Melbourne McDonald’s employees tested for coronavirus
As part of the new rules, up to 10 people can gather outdoors and partake in recreational activities such as golf, fishing and hiking, as well as attend mass and group support services such as Alcoholics Anonymous, so long as social-distancing rules are observed.
Ten guests are also allowed to attend weddings while funerals may have 20 mourners indoors or 30 outdoors.
The changes will be in place until the end of May.
But it will still be some time before schools reopen.
Yesterday, Mr Andrews confirmed students in prep, grades 1 and 2, years 11 and 12, and at special schools will be allowed back in the classroom on May 26.
From June 9, students in years 3 to 10 will join their schoolmates on campus at government schools.
The development comes after a state government testing blitz, with 161,000 samples showing levels of COVID-19 in the state are “very low”.
“We think we can manage and control that and it’s appropriate now that students go back to school,” the premier said.
Victoria is the last state to relax the restrictions on schools, as coronavirus cases continue to rise.
The state has recorded seven new cases of COVID-19, taking the state’s total to 1514.
Two previous cases have been reclassified interstate and removed from Victoria’s infection tally.
None of the state’s new cases are linked to the outbreak at Cedar Meats. However, three close contacts which were previously under investigation, were found to be connected to the abattoir.
The meat cluster’s total has risen to 88 infections.
Your questions about Victoria’s latest restrictions answered:
Can I have visitors in my home?
Under new arrangements from today visits from friends, family, and partners are allowed. At any one time you can have up to five visitors to your home, in addition to those who normally reside in the household. Children are counted in the total person limit.
Can I have more than one set of visitors to my house a day?
You can, but Victorians are being asked to be considered and use common sense when it comes to having friends and family visit – especially those who are more vulnerable.
We’re having a BBQ in our backyard. What rule applies – the five or the ten?
Under the new directions, you can have up to five visitors to your home, in addition to those who normally reside in the household. Your home includes indoor and outside areas of the house.
Is there a restriction on how far I can travel in Victoria?
There is no limit on the distance you can travel.
Are overnight stays allowed?
No. Unless you are going to your holiday house or second residence which you own.
Can I learn to drive?
Driving for practice is now permitted, as well as attending driving lessons and flying lessons.
Which recreational facilities are restricted?
Indoor physical recreation facilities: gyms, yoga studios, wellness centres, barre and spin facilities and health studios
Indoor personal training facilities where personal training services are the predominant activity
Galleries and museums
Publicly accessible playgrounds
Outdoor communal gym equipment
Can I do personal training or boot camps?
Boot camps and personal training services can continue only if they are outdoor with a maximum of ten people plus a trainer at any one session, ensuring no more than one person for every four square metres of space.
Can I do water sports?
Yes, water sports including canoeing, kayaking, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and rowing are permitted, as long as physical distancing is complied with and people don’t travel large distances to do them. If you need to travel, you need to be able to drive there and back within one day.
Can I participate in sport?
You can participate in training for all sports, but it must be non-contact, with only 10 people participating at any one time in addition to those people running the training (e.g. coach, manager).
This means that contact training drills will not be able to occur including AFL, other codes of football and soccer, netball and basketball, unless modifications are made to ensure physical distancing.
Indoor sports remain prohibited as there is an increase in the risk of transmission while exercising in an enclosed space.
Are swimming pools closed?
Yes, public swimming pools are closed. Outdoor pools and ocean baths are also closed. You can swim at the beach.
If a pool is at a person’s private residence and is not available for communal use, it can be used as long as no more than five visitors attend the residence at one time.
Can I play golf?
You can play golf in groups of no more than 10 people. You must ensure 1.5 metres can be maintained between yourself and others.
Can I exercise with others?
You can also do outdoor exercise with up to 10 people who doesn’t normally live at the same address as you, provided you maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and the other person.
Can I go to a national park?
Parks may reopen for hiking and other recreational activities, but you cannot gather in groups of more than 10 people at any one time.
Can I go to a community centre?
Facilities such as community centres, public halls and public libraries can still be used as a place for delivering essential services such as food banks or services for the homeless and support services such as Alcoholics Anonymous or parent groups.
Can small group lessons resume at community centres such as knitting or art?
Group lessons at community centres cannot resume at this time.
Can public libraries be reopened?
Public libraries remain closed.
Can I go to the park?
Yes, you can relax at the park, have a picnic or play non-contact sports. Keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and other people at all times. You can meet up with friends, family and loved ones at the park but only in groups of up to 10 people, and multiple groups of 10 people should not gather close by.
You cannot use playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skate parks, all of which remain closed.
Can we go to the beach?
Yes, you can relax at the beach. You cannot gather in groups of more than 10 people at any one time, and multiple groups of 10 people should not gather close by.
Can I go fishing? Can I go fishing with friends? Or hunting?
Under new arrangements that came into effect at 11.59pm yesterday, you can go fishing or hunting, in groups of no more than 10 people. You must ensure 1.5 metres can be maintained between yourself and others.
Fishing or hunting competitions can’t currently occur.
Can I go boating?
Under the new directions, recreational boating is now permissible. Physical distancing and mass gathering rules apply at all times – including at the boat ramp and on your boat.
Can I go to church?
All places of worship, of all denominations, can now open for pre-arranged worship or small religious ceremonies of up to 10 people as well as the minimum number of people reasonably required for the service. This includes baptisms.
For weddings, 10 people can attend in addition to the couple, and the celebrant.
For indoor funerals, no more than 20 mourners may attend in person as well as the people required for the funeral, such as the officiant or funeral company.
Funerals held outdoors can be attended by a maximum of 30 mourners. If a funeral is held at a private house then only five people, in addition to people who live at the household, can attend.
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