Victoria Will Tighten Some COVID-19 Gathering Restrictions from Midnight on June 21
The number of visitors allowed in your home will drop to five from Sunday and outdoor gatherings will be limited to ten — and Premier Daniel Andrews says lockdowns could be reintroduced in COVID-19 hotspots.
At midnight on Sunday, June 21, eased restrictions were set to be introduced in Victoria, but, instead — with the number of new COVID-19 cases on the rise in the state again, and 25 recorded in the past 24 hours — Premier Daniel Andrews has today, Saturday, June 20, announced that some of them will need to be tightened.
From Sunday night, you will only be allowed up to five visitors in your home and gatherings in outdoor public spaces will be limited ten, both of which will be reduction from the current 20.
While the number of people allowed in restaurants, pubs, auction halls, community halls, libraries and museums was set to increase to 50 on Sunday, it will instead say at 20. But, the service of alcohol without having to buy a meal will still be allowed from Monday.
These new limits are set to stay in place until at least midnight on Sunday, July 12.
There is small amount of good news, though. Some new businesses that were set to reopen for the first time on Monday, including gyms, theatres and cinemas, will still be allowed to reopen. But, again, there will be a limit of 20 people allowed inside — which is a reduction from the 50-person cap that had been previously announced.
The kicking off of the Victorian ski season on June 22 will also be allowed, as will community sport for kids and non-contact competitions for adults.
At the press conference, the Premier said that, since April, around half of all new cases have been from family-to-family transmission and he was "disappointed" in the behaviour of some Victorians who weren't following the public health orders.
"You cannot make your own decision because it is not your decision to make. You are putting the rest of Victoria at risk," the Premier said. "My message is very clear. If you are sick, you cannot go out. If you are sick, you cannot go to work. If you are sick you cannot — even moderate symptoms, mild symptoms — you cannot go and visit family and friends. If you are told to isolate, you must isolate."
The Premier also did not rule out the possibility of reimposing strict lockdowns in areas where there are high levels of community transmission, which would see some suburbs or local government areas revert back to the stay-at-home order, which allowed you to leave home for only one of four reasons: food, healthcare, exercise, or work and education (where work or education cannot be done from home).
"I cannot rule out and I won't rule out the notion of hotspots where we see substantial community transmission being subject to lockdowns," the Premier said.
He also raised the possibility of barring travel from Victorian hotspots to NSW (which currently has an open border), but both of these decisions will depend on the number of new cases over coming days.
Victoria's latest State of Emergency is due to expire at midnight on Sunday, June 21; however, while Premier Andrews didn't mention it today, it should be expected that it'll be extended as well.
For more information about the state of COVID-19 in Victoria and what restrictions will be introduced and eased at midnight on Sunday, June 22, head to the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Published on June 20, 2020 by Samantha Teague