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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Melburnians Can Travel 15 Kilometres and Enjoy More Outdoor Activities From September 28

The first set of eased restrictions under Victoria's roadmap out of lockdown will kick in when the state reaches the 80-percent single-dosed vaccination mark.
By Sarah Ward
September 26, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
September 26, 2021
  shares

Melburnians, get ready to venture a little further from home — and to play golf, tennis and other outdoor activities with your mates, and hit up a few personal training sessions, too. Victoria's recently announced roadmap out of lockdown is about to reach its first milestone, with 80 percent of the state's eligible residents expected to have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Tuesday, September 28. So, at 11.59pm that evening, a few restrictions will ease.

If this sounds familiar, that's because the current roadmap highlighted most of these changes when it was unveiled back on Sunday, September 19; however, there have been a couple of amendments. Firstly, it was initially expected that 80-percent single-jabbed threshold would arrive today, Sunday, September 26, but that hasn't proven the case. Secondly, as Premier Daniel Andrews has just revealed, some of the easing rules have been tinkered with.

Wondering what life holds from Wednesday, September 29 onwards (because you'll only have a minute to enjoy the new rules the day prior)? Firstly, the ten-kilometre radius is expanding to 15 kilometres — so that's how far from home you'll be able to mosey to shop, for exercise and for outdoor social interaction.

Also, what you're allowed to do in groups outdoors will change to include 'contactless' recreation. So, things like golf and tennis will be permitted, as will boating. They'll be allowed under the same picnic rules that are in place now — which includes one person who isn't from your household if you aren't fully vaxxed, and up to five adults from two households, plus their dependents, if all adults have had both their jabs. The current four-hour limit on outdoor exercise and socialising remains in place.

And, personal training is also back for five fully vaxxed people outdoors, plus a double-jabbed trainer. Plus, there'll be no more restrictions on playgrounds, which'll now fall under the general outdoor gathering rules.

These relaxed restrictions form part of Melbourne's path out of its current (and sixth) lockdown. The city first went back under the present stay-at-home conditions at the beginning of Augustjust nine days after the previous lockdown ended — and has seen those rules extended multiple times so far, and a nighttime curfew implemented as well.

Earlier in September, the requirements regarding outdoor social interaction and the distance you're permitted to travel away from home for those outdoor gatherings, exercise and to shop eased slightly; however, the changes now coming into effect on Tuesday, September 28 will relax the rules a little further.

After this, more restrictions are slated to ease when 70 percent of the state's residents aged over 16 have been fully vaxxed, which is when lockdown will end, the curfew will be ditched and the the travel radius go up to 25 kilometres. Also, ten fully vaccinated people will be allowed to gather outdoors, and outdoor community sport will return. Plus, pubs, clubs and entertainment venues can open to 50 double-jabbed people — but outdoors only — and weddings and funerals can do the same. And, for the fully vaxxed, five people can go to a hairdressers at once.

Following that, at the 80-percent double-dosed threshold for over 16s, groups of ten, including dependents, will be allowed in homes. Groups of 30 fully vaxxed people can gather outdoors, too. Dining indoors at hospitality venues will resume, with up to 150 double-vaxxed folks allowed, and the cap will go up to 500 outside. There'll be no travel radius, so intrastate travel will be back with no limits. Indoor community sport will return as well, there'll be a 150-person cap on hairdressing for the fully vaxxed, and all retail stores will reopen. Indoor entertainment venues, plus weddings and funerals, will follow those 150 and 500 caps mentioned above. And, masks will only be required inside from this point.

Finally, when 80 percent of Victorians over 12 are completely vaccinated, the state will align with the rules under Australia's new 'National Plan to transition Australia's National COVID Response' that was announced in July. That's when double-jabbed Australians are expected to be able to travel overseas again without restrictions, when there's set to be no lockdowns, and when vaxxed Aussies will be free from domestic restrictions anyway. The Federal Government is expected to flesh out these rules in the coming months.

Also, Victoria has committed that for Christmas, 30 people will be permitted inside homes. Exactly when that'll kick in — obviously before December 25 — hasn't been revealed.

It's worth noting that the national plan requires all of Australia to reach each vaccination threshold overall before an individual state or territory that's met that milestone can ease restrictions — but that hasn't been mentioned in Victoria's roadmap, other than at the final phase.

Wondering where you can currently get vaccinated? There's a handy online map that helps you find your nearest clinic. Keen to keep an eye on vaccination rates? A heap of online resources will help you do that as well.

Victoria's latest round of eased restrictions will come into effect at 11.59pm on Tuesday, September 28For further information about Victoria's reopening roadmap, head to the Victorian Government website. For more information about the status of COVID-19 and the current restrictions, head over to the Department of Health website.

Top image: Royal Botanic Gardens, Visit Victoria.

Published on September 26, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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