FROM 11.59 PM Yesterday

Lockdown restrictions will be lifted in regional Victoria from today following advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.

Victorians continue to do an incredible job keeping each other safe and while metropolitan Melbourne and Shepparton are still managing serious outbreaks, case numbers in the rest of regional Victoria have remained low and contained which gives us options to ease restrictions.

The five reasons to leave the home will be removed in regional Victoria, except for Greater Shepparton. There will be no limit on the distance regional Victorians can travel from home – other than restrictions on entry to metropolitan Melbourne.

The Authorised Worker list will no longer apply in the regions, meaning most businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits. Regional Victorians will return to the rule ‘if you can work from home, you should work from home.

Salons and clinics in Regional Victoria can reopen with a cap of 10 persons per salon.  Masks must be worn by the staff and clients and remain on for the duration of the service. As masks are not permitted to be removed during a treatment that means that full facial treatments will not be possible until further restrictions are eased.

All metropolitan salons and clinics are to remain closed.

There remains a significant risk of Delta cases seeding from NSW or metropolitan Melbourne, and as a result the Chief Health Officer has recommended this careful easing.

Regional schools will reopen for onsite learning for Prep to Grade 2 and Year 12 students who live in regional Victoria, while remote learning will remain for all other levels. Onsite supervision at schools remains available for vulnerable children and children of essential workers in all year levels, including for students from metropolitan Melbourne.

Funerals will be permitted for up to 20 people and weddings will be permitted for up to 10 people, plus those required to conduct the service. Stricter limits will be in place for both weddings and funerals with people from Melbourne in attendance.

Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service with patron caps. Retail, hairdressing, entertainment venues, and community facilities will also open in line with density limits and patron caps. Masks will continue to be required indoors and outdoors, apart from private residences, unless an exception applies.

Given the clearly increasing risk coming from Melbourne, Victoria Police will significantly expand their operation along the metropolitan border to protect regional Victoria. Police will also be out in force in regional areas, conducting spot checks to ensure people from metropolitan Melbourne are not in the regionals are not unless for authorized reasons. The fine for breaching the Chief Health Officer’s directions is $5,452.

The only change to restrictions for metropolitan Melbourne right now will see single parents now able to access childcare, regardless of whether they are authorized workers.

For further details vision www.premier.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-restrictions-lift-regional-victoria-0