Metro Melbourne Is Set to Further Ease Venue and Gathering Limits From November 22
Melburnians, prepare to spend some more time in more places with more people.
It has been a big few weeks for Melburnians. Victoria has now clocked up 11 consecutive days without any new COVID-19 cases, and restrictions keep relaxing — including reopening hospitality venues, ditching the 25-kilometre rule and scrapping the regional travel ban, and permitting entertainment venues to relaunch. That's the kind of end-of-year news everyone needs at the moment and, if the city and the surrounding state keep the current case trend going, more is set to follow.
When Premier Daniel Andrews announced the latest coronavirus roadmap changes on Sunday, November 8, he also outlined plans for the next stage, which'll hit from 11.59pm on Sunday, November 22. Plenty of current rules will relax even further, including around venues and gatherings — so prepare to spend some more time in more places with more people.
Hospitality venues will be able to welcome in up to 100 people indoors (with one person per four square metres) and 200 outside (with one person per two square metres). Public gatherings will increase to 50 and private gatherings — so, folks coming over to your house — will increase to ten from any number of other households.
Also, travel-wise, you'll be able to head out of town in line with the private gathering cap (so in groups of ten people from any number of other households).
Both seated and non-seated entertainment venues (such as cinemas and galleries) will be able to welcome in up to 100 people per space, too, at a density of one person per four square metres up to 25-percent of their capacity. For outdoor seated events, numbers will go up to 500 (50-percent capacity, and one person per four square metres).
Gyms and fitness studios will increase to a maximum of 100 people per venue and 20 people per space. And religious gatherings will be able to have 20 people in one indoors, up to a total of 100 — and groups of 50 outdoors up to a total of 500. Weddings will also be able to have 100 people in attendance.
Announcing the future changes, Premier Andrews noted that Victoria "will only be able to make those changes, take those steps — which is the last step before we reach the COVID-normal [phase], which we were locking well ahead before Christmas before having the COVID-normal Christmas and maintaining those settings and maybe go further again, throughout 2021 — we will only get to that point if each of us fundamentally acknowledge this point: nine days of zero is not the same as a vaccine". He continued: "each of us have played a part in building this precious thing and each of us have to play a part in protecting it. If we want to stay open, we have to stay safe. If we want to enjoy these steps and more, then we all have to play our part. And it is getting tested when you feel sick. It is taking these rules seriously".
For more information about the status of COVID-19 and the current restrictions, head over to the Department of Health and Human Services website — and for further details about Victoria's steps for reopening, head to the roadmap itself.
Top image: Kate Shanasy.
Published on November 10, 2020 by Sarah Ward