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Victoria Is Ditching Hospitality and Entertainment Density Limits — and Reopening Dance Floors

With decreasing community transmission and hospital admission numbers, the Victorian Government is loosening rules around heading out — effective 6pm on Friday, February 18.
By Sarah Ward
February 17, 2022
By Sarah Ward
February 17, 2022

Melburnians, your weekend plans just got bigger and better, because the Victorian Government will scrap density limits in hospitality and entertainment venues from this weekend. Premier Daniel Andrews announced today, Thursday, February 17, that the current restrictions on venue capacities that have been in effect since early January will end at 6pm on Friday, February 18.

For more than a month, the hospo and entertainment industries have been operating under a one person per two-square-metre density requirement, as you've no doubt noticed whenever you've left the house for a bite to eat or just for something to do. And, also in mid-January, the Victorian Government shut down dance floors, too — but Victoria will also no longer resemble the town from Footloose, Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed as well.

Basically, get ready to do more things in more places with more people — including make shapes — from this weekend onwards, all thanks to the decreasing community transmission and hospital admission numbers.

Victorian residents will also be able to stop checking in via QR codes in retail stores, schools and when going to work at many workplaces; however, that requirement isn't changing in hospitality and entertainment venues.

Jake Roden, Visit Victoria

"We always said these measures wouldn't be in place for a minute longer than they are needed, and with hospitalisation numbers decreasing and less pressure on our health system, now is a sensible time to make changes," said the Premier.

"These are safe and sensible measures which balance the need to support our health system with the benefits of easing restrictions across a range of settings," added the Health Minister.

More rules are likely to ease next week, too, which Andrews and Foley both advised they hope to announce by next Friday, February 25 if the current trend of cases stabilises and continues. That'll ideally involve lifting mandatory mask-wearing in offices, and considering if it's appropriate to remove the recommendation that Victorians work from home.

Victoria currently has 50,042 active COVID-19 cases, including 8501 new cases reported today, Thursday, February 17.

Victoria's density, dance floor and QR check-in rules will ease at 6pm on Friday, February 18. For more information about the status of COVID-19 and the state's rules and restrictions, head over to the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Top image: The Lame Duck, Jess Middleton.

Published on February 17, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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