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Here's What You Can and Can't Do in Metro Melbourne Under 'Step One'

At 11.59pm on Sunday, September 13, some restrictions will be eased — here's what you need to know.
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
September 11, 2020
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
September 11, 2020

Last week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews unveiled how metropolitan Melbourne area will gradually ease out of its current stage four COVID-19 lockdowns. On the cards is a five-step removal of restrictions, with the first step taking place from 11.59pm on Sunday, September 13 — but life isn't going to be returning to normal any time soon.

When it was first implemented, metro Melbourne's stage four lockdown was initially set to end on the aforementioned mid-September date; however, Premier Andrews has now advised that that isn't able to happen based on current coronavirus case numbers. Instead, some limits will be rolled back, with more to follow on September 28, October 26, November 23 and whenever the powers-that-be decide that a 'COVID normal' scenario — with absolutely no restrictions on gatherings, visitors, hospitality or sport — will be possible.

That said, the loosening of limits at each is also dependent on health advice and hitting specific numbers of cases.

So, from 11.59pm on Sunday, September 13, a few restrictions will be eased as part of step one of the roadmap. Here, we've broken down just what you can and can't do.

This information is correct as of Friday, September 11. 


Is there still a curfew?

Yes, there is still a curfew in place for metropolitan Melbourne. But, the good news is, it's been extended by an hour — starting at 9pm, instead of 8pm, and running through till 5am.


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 outdoor exercise and recreation, and for permitted work. You can find out more about what industries are allowed on-site workers over here.


Do I still have to wear a mask?

Yes, masks or face coverings are still compulsory whenever you leave home. You can find out all the nitty-gritty over here.


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

You can now head outdoors for up to two hours, which is double the previously allowed one hour. You can use these two hours to exercise or to see a friend or family member (and you can split these into two one-hour sessions, but no more), but we'll get to social interactions in a second.


How far can I travel?

You can still only travel up to five kilometres from your home. We're sure you're very, very familiar with that patch of dirt by now, but if you want to have another look at what's around, check out this website.


Can I see friends and family?

Yes, but there are quite a few caveats, so bear with us. You can catch up with one other person not in your household — or all of your household members — outside of your home for up to two hours. You can exercise with them or have a picnic (socially distanced, of course), but you cannot travel more than five kilometres from your home.

Inside your home, the rules are a little different. The government has introduced a "single social bubble", 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 five kilometres to visit them, but you must stay within metropolitan Melbourne. You can stay overnight, but you can't travel outside of curfew hours (9pm–5am).

Premier Daniel Andrews has posted a little more about the bubbles here and there are more FAQs over here, too.


Can I drive to a park to exercise?

As long as it's within five 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.


Can I have a picnic in a park?

Yes, as long as it's with one other person or the members of your household.


Can I go to the beach?

Yes, if there is a beach within five kilometres of your home. But you can go for a maximum of two hours and with one other person or the members of your household.


How about a dog park?

If it's within five kilometres of your home, yes. Here are some of our favourites.


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 five kilometres from your home to see someone in your "social bubble", but you cannot enter regional Victoria for this reason.


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 five kilometres from your home.


How about to a restaurant or cafe?

You can pick up takeaway from a hospitality venue located within five kilometres of your home, but dine-in service is off the cards for now.


Or a gym?

Indoor gyms are currently closed, but outdoors playgrounds will be open from 11.59pm on Sunday, September 13.


When will more restrictions be eased?

For metropolitan Melbourne, the next step of eased restrictions is set to take place on Monday, September 28 — but only if the average daily cases is between 30–50 over the previous 14 days.


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

Top image: Edinburgh Park via Visit Victoria

Published on September 11, 2020 by Samantha Teague
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