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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Here's What You Can and Can't Do in Metro Melbourne This Grand Final Long Weekend

You've got three days off, but what exactly can you do with all that free time? We've broken it down.
By Samantha Teague and Ben Hansen
October 22, 2020
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Here's What You Can and Can't Do in Metro Melbourne This Grand Final Long Weekend

You've got three days off, but what exactly can you do with all that free time? We've broken it down.
By Samantha Teague and Ben Hansen
October 22, 2020
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In early September, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews unveiled how the metropolitan Melbourne area will gradually ease out of its stage four COVID-19 lockdown. On the cards is a five-step removal of restrictions. We are currently in the second step of the plan, however, more restrictions eased at 11.59pm on Sunday, October 18 as the Victorian Government works toward the third step (hopefully set to happen on November 1).

Thanks to this latest rollback of restrictions, Melburnians can travel further and more services (like hairdressers) can reopen, as can tennis courts and golf courses. But, everything is certainly not normal this Grand Final long weekend. The game itself is taking place over at The Gabba in Queensland on Saturday, October 24.

Thankfully, though, Victoria still gets a public holiday on the Friday — and it's the first all-Victorian Grand Final since 2011, with the Richmond Tigers and Geelong Cats going head to head.

If you're wondering exactly what you now can and can't do this long weekend, that's understandable — the new restrictions are a lot to take in. So, we've detailed the basics.

This information is correct as of Thursday, October 22. 

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Is there still a curfew?

No, the curfew for metropolitan Melbourne has been scrapped. It lifted for the last time at 5am on Monday, September 28. Originally, it was due to stay in step two, but Premier Andrews announced that change on Sunday, September 27.

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For what reasons am I allowed to leave the house?

Remember those four reasons first announced way back in March? Yep, it's still those. You can leave home to purchase groceries and other essentials, for care and caregiving, for permitted work, and for outdoor exercise and recreation which now includes socialising with up to nine people outdoors.

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Do I still have to wear a mask?

Yes, masks or face coverings are still compulsory whenever you leave home. In fact, the rules for masks have tightened in step two. You now have to wear a fitted face mask — with bandanas, scarves and face shields no longer acceptable.

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How long am I allowed to be out of the house for?

The two-hour limit on time spent out of the home has now been lifted. You may now leave your house for any amount of time in order to exercise or socialise with friends or family as long as you're abiding by all other restriction.

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How far can I travel?

You can now travel up to 25 kilometres from your home, five times as far as you've previously been allowed to venture. However, if you live in Metropolitan Melbourne, you are still not allowed to travel into regional Victoria even if it is within 25 kilometres from your home.

If this newfound freedom is a little overwhelming, this website can help you determine what fits in your 25-kilometre radius.cp-line

Can I see friends and family?

Yes, but there are quite a few caveats, so bear with us. You can catch up with up to ten people, from a maximum of two different households, outside of your home. You can exercise with them or have a picnic (socially distanced, of course), but you cannot travel more than 25 kilometres from your home. This has been increased from the previous limit of five people.

Inside your home, the rules are a little different. The "single social bubble" from step one is still in place, which allows a single person living alone or a single parent with children under 18 to nominate one person to be in their bubble. You are allowed to have this nominated person over to your home and you can go to their home — and you can travel more than 25 kilometres to visit them, but you must stay within metropolitan Melbourne. You can also stay overnight.

The same rule still applies for intimate partners, too.

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Can I have a session with a personal trainer in a park?

Under step two, yes. Up to two people per trainer is allowed.

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Can I have a picnic in a park?

Yes, as long as it's with up to ten people (including yourself) from a maximum of two different households — and within 25 kilometres of your homes. Here are some of our favourite spots.

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Go Boat by Lean Timms

Can I have a picnic on a boat?

Luck you asked, because yes you can. Melbourne's BYO pet-friendly picnic boats have returned to the Yarra. But, you can only hire one if you live within 25 kilometres of Southbank and your sailing route. We also highly suggest booking over here.

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Can I go to the beach?

Yes, if there is a beach within 25 kilometres of your home. You can only go with up to ten people (including yourself) from a maximum of two different households.

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Can I drive to a park or beach?

As long as it's within 25 kilometres of your home, yes. While it was initially banned at the start of stage four, the government changed the rules after backlash on social media.

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Can I go to a pool?

Indoor? No. Outdoor? Yes. Up to 30 people may swim in an outdoor pool, but there are capacity limits and bookings at many pools, so check the website before throwing on your togs. You can check out some of our favourites over here.

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Urbnsurf by Adam Gibson

Can I go to a surf park?

You sure can — if it's in your bubble, of course. Urbnsurf, Victoria's only surf park, has started pumping out waves again. Once again, bookings are essential and you can make one right here.

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Can I visit a regional town?

If you work in regional Victoria, you can travel there (but you'll need a permit) — otherwise no. You can travel more than 25 kilometres from your home to see someone in your "social bubble", but you cannot enter regional Victoria for this reason.

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Can I go shopping?

For groceries and other essentials, yes. But not all shops are open and some have altered hours, so check before you head off. And do make sure you stay within 25 kilometres from your home.

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Can I get my haircut?

Yes. Under the new restrictions, hairdressers and barbers are allowed to recommence work. As it has been a long time since Melburnians have been able to get a haircut, booking ahead of time is recommended.

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Prahran Market X Moon Dog footy pack

How about to a restaurant or cafe?

You can pick up takeaway from a hospitality venue located within 25 kilometres of your home, but dine-in service is off the cards for now. To help get your ready for the long weekend, we've rounded up some of the best goal-kicking Grand Final packs you can order to your home for game day.

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Can I go to gyms or other recreational services?

Indoor gyms are currently closed, but outdoors playgrounds and gyms are open.

Tennis courts, skate parks and golf courses will also reopen under the new revised restrictions.

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Can I watch the game?

Hell yes. And you can do so for free, too. Channel 7 will be playing the game live from 7.30pm AEST, with pre-match coverage starting from 4.30pm. You can also watch it via 7 Plus.

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If you have more questions, the Victorian Government has an extensive list of FAQs on its website.

Top image: Go Boat by Lean Timms

Published on October 22, 2020 by Samantha Teague

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