Greater Melbourne Is Reintroducing At-Home and Public Gathering Restrictions From 6pm Tonight
You'll only be able to have five visitors over to your house each day, and gather in public in groups of 30.
The last time that the Victorian Government amended the state's COVID-19 restrictions, it revealed that capacity caps on small- and medium-sized venues would ease before the end of the month. Announcing new changes today, Tuesday, May 25, the Greater Melbourne region is now going in the opposite direction. With five new coronavirus cases identified in the city's northern suburbs in the past 24 hours — four that were announced yesterday, and another that was revealed this morning — Acting Premier James Merlino has revealed that new restrictions will come into effect at 6pm this evening.
The city isn't going into lockdown, or closing down schools or workplaces. For now, it's capping at-home and public gatherings. Within your house, you'll only be able to welcome five visitors per day. If you have plans to hang out with your nearest and dearest in public, you'll also need to limit that to 30 people.
And, masks will become mandatory again in indoor settings for everyone over the age of 12, unless an exemption applies.
The Victorian Government isn't stopping Greater Melbourne residents from leaving the area; however, it has announced that these new restrictions will travel with you if you venture further afield. "For example, if you visit someone outside metropolitan Melbourne, they must have not more than five visitors at that house in that day," advised the Acting Premier.
No limits have been brought back in for weddings and funerals so far, unless they're being held at a private residence, where the five-person rule will apply. Nothing is changing for the hospitality industry, either, but the aforementioned changes for small- and medium-sized venues will be postponed. Just when they'll now come into effect hasn't yet been revealed.
More changes are likely to be announced for bigger crowds, such as football matches and major events, though — with discussions regarding those types of activities currently underway.
Explaining the changes, Merlino noted that "it is harder to contact trace in those private and informal settings. That is why we've got the limit of five visitors per household in the home and 30 gathering outside." At present, caps aren't being brought in for employers or venues because "our workplaces and businesses have COVID-safe plans and QR codes, [so] it is much easier for contact tracers."
As it always does during new outbreaks, Victoria's Department of Health has started announcing which venues are currently considered exposure sites. Two were identified yesterday, and that list has grown overnight — and will change again if and when more sites are identified.
For those looking to get tested, you can find a list of testing sites including regularly updated waiting times also on the Department of Health website.
And, has remained the case throughout the pandemic, Melburnians should be looking out for coughs, fever, sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, or loss of smell or taste, symptoms-wise.
Greater Melbourne's new restrictions will come into effect at 6pm on Tuesday, May 25. For more information about the rules moving forward, head to the Victorian Department of Health website.
Published on May 25, 2021 by Sarah Ward