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FOOD & DRINK

Melbourne's Bars, Pubs and Restaurants Are Allowed to Reopen for Dine-In from Midnight Tomorrow

Premier Daniel Andrews has outlined the next set of eased restrictions, including scrapping the four reasons to leave home and allowing all retail to reopen.
By Samantha Teague
October 26, 2020
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Melbourne's Bars, Pubs and Restaurants Are Allowed to Reopen for Dine-In from Midnight Tomorrow

Premier Daniel Andrews has outlined the next set of eased restrictions, including scrapping the four reasons to leave home and allowing all retail to reopen.
By Samantha Teague
October 26, 2020
  shares

Melbourne, we have a date. After many days of anticipation — and a delay as the state raced to contain an outbreak in the northern suburbs — Premier Daniel Andrews has today, Monday, October 26, announced exactly when metropolitan Melbourne's hospitality venues will be able to reopen for dine-in: 11.59pm on Tuesday, October 27.

As part of this third step a few other restrictions will ease, too, including the scrapping of the four reasons to leave home; allowing the reopening of all retail; the reopening of beauty, personal and tattooing services; outdoor non-contact spot for adults can recommence; outdoor entertainment venues can host visitors; and weddings can increase to ten and funerals to 20. Outdoor gatherings will remain at ten, but they no longer need to be restricted to two households.

In terms of hospitality venues, there'll be a maximum of 20 seated patrons indoors — with a limit of ten per space — and 50 people outdoors with one person per two square metres.

Today's announcement did not include details on in-home visits, but the Premier said further details on these restrictions will be announced tomorrow.

Some of the rules that aren't changing tomorrow: the 25-kilometre travel limit and the hard border between metro Melbourne and regional Victoria. That's part of another step, which will be taking place on Sunday, November 8.

From this November date, the 25-kilometre limit is set to be scrapped and the metro/regional border will go — "the state will be one again" as the Premier said. In metro Melbourne, gyms and fitness studios will be allowed to reopen — with a maximum of 20 people per space — hospitality venues will move to 40 people indoors and 70 outside, and religious gatherings will move to 20 people indoors and 50 outdoors. Indoor pools will also be allowed to open.

The announcement comes as Victoria records zero new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since early June — 139 days ago. While the reopening of venues was paused while the government waited for the results of more than 1000 tests from the northern suburb, all of them came back negative.

It's all positive news today, but the Premier warns that "it is not over". "This virus is not going away. It is going to continue to be a feature of our lives, it is going to be a feature of our lives every day until a vaccine turns up," the Premier said. " These are big steps. We have all given a lot, I'm so proud and impressed and humbled by the contribution that so many Victorian families have made, so many Victorian businesses have made, if this is to mean something we have to take our COVID-19 responsibilities to stay safe, and stay open, to stay safe and stay connected, we have to take those responsibility seriously."

The steps announced by the Premier today are part of a the Victorian Government's previously announced five-step roadmap to a COVID-normal, with the Premier saying the state is on track to reach the final step (COVID-normal) by Christmas.

For more information about the status of COVID-19 and the current restrictions, head over to the Department of Health and Human Services website — and for further details about Victoria's steps for reopening, head to the roadmap itself.

Top image: Julia Sansone

Published on October 26, 2020 by Samantha Teague

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