Melbourne's Venue Restrictions Will Ease Again and Dance Floors Will Be Allowed From July 9
At-home gathering caps aren't changing for the next fortnight, but you'll still be able to spend time in more places with more people.
Thanks to lockdowns, travel limits, and gathering and venue restrictions, Melburnians have been caught in a familiar cycle since the end of May. That's what happens when there's a COVID-19 outbreak, as everyone has become accustomed to over the past year or so. Also familiar, not to mention welcome: the further easing of the city's rules and caps now that the state has notched up seven days without any locally acquired cases.
When Friday, July 9 hits (because, although the changes come into effect at 11.59pm on Thursday, July 8, we're being realistic), a heap of restrictions across Melbourne will loosen — allowing folks to spend time in more places with more people. As announced today, Wednesday, July 7, by Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley, the new rules will remain in place for two weeks at this stage. They'll also apply statewide, bringing all of Victoria under the same requirements.
So, for the next fortnight, hospitality venues will be able to operate with a density cap of one person per two-square-metres — as will gyms and physical recreation venues, community facilities, creative studios and places of worship. They'll all need to have a COVID Check-in Marshal is onsite to ensure folks are checking in, though.
Dance floors are allowed to make a comeback, again with a COVID Check-in Marshal overseeing the action — but they'll have a 50-person cap at any one time.
At public events, crowd numbers will also increase. Outdoor stadiums can fill to 75-percent capacity up to 40,000 people — so yes, that means more people at the footy — and indoor stadiums can do the same up to 7500 people. Theatres can also open to the same capacity percentage, but up to a 2000-person maximum.
One thing that isn't changing: the at-home gathering cap. That'll remain at 15, so that's still how many people you can have over to your house per day. "Victorians need look no further than the outbreak across our border to know the risks of coronavirus spreading at big gatherings inside the home. That's why the limit on private gatherings will stay the same," the Victorian Government noted in its statement.
Mask rules are getting a very slight shakeup, however. They still remain mandatory indoors in public-facing settings, but if you work in an office or a factory, you won't have to wear them — as long as you're in a workplace that doesn't interact with the public.
Announcing the latest easing of restrictions, the Health Minister said that "today's changes show just how far we've come — thanks to the hard work of all Victorians we're able to once again have the same settings in place for the whole state.". He continued: "we're seeing across the country just how fast-moving the Delta strain is – which is why we need to remain vigilant and follow the directions to protect the gains we've made."
Victoria currently has 24 active COVID-19 cases as at midnight last night.
Melbourne's restrictions will ease again at 11.59pm on Thursday, July 8. For more information about the rules that'll be in place from that time, head to the Victorian Department of Health website.
Top image: Julia Sansone.
Published on July 07, 2021 by Sarah Ward