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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Victoria Is Further Easing Gathering and Venue Restrictions From March 26

You'll be able to have 100 people over to your house again and gather in public in groups of 200 — and non-seated entertainment venues can go up to 75-percent capacity.
By Sarah Ward
March 23, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
March 23, 2021
  shares

A month after the last set of eased COVID-19 restrictions came into effect across the state, the Victorian Government is relaxing limits on everyday activities once again. Come 6pm on Friday, March 26, you'll be able to gather with more people in more places — including at home, in public and at a long list of venues.

Presently, Victoria is operating under the settings that were in place before Christmas. So, when the new changes kick in just in time for this coming weekend, the state will enjoy some of its most relaxed conditions since pandemic began. Announcing the news today, Tuesday, March 23, Acting Premier James Merlino said "we know the risk is far from over, but thanks to the incredible work of all Victorians, we're continuing to open up and see the Victoria we all love return to life again."

First up, Victorians will be able to host more people in their houses, with the cap going up to 100 folks from any number of other households. That's a daily limit, like previous caps, even if they all of your visitors come at different times in different groups — and your home also includes your front and back yards.

Fancy heading outdoors with your nearest and dearest elsewhere, beyond your own patch of land? In good news, public outdoor gatherings are going up to 200. So your next trip to the beach or the park with your mates can now feature an even bigger crowd.

In venues that are currently under the one person per four-square-metres rule — which includes nightclubs, karaoke venues and casinos — the one person per two-square-metres rule will come into effect. Cafes, pubs and restaurants aren't changing, though, because they're already at the bigger capacity threshold.

Non-seated entertainment venues will also be able to welcome more folks in, upping their limits from 50-percent to 75-percent capacity — albeit with a 1000-person cap still in effect. Keen to make shapes with more people around you? Dance floors are going up to 75-percent capacity, too, and the current 50-person cap is being scrapped.

Whether you're working out indoors or outdoors, fitness classes will no longer have class limits. For those who prefer doing their own thing at the gym, they're moving to density limits of one person per four-square-metres (from the current setting of one person per eight-square-metres).

Also, there'll be no caps on the number of both public and private sector workers that can head into the office — so prepare to see more of your coworkers.

If you're wondering about masks, the rules are changing there as well. You'll no longer need to keep wearing them in retail settings, such as large and busy indoor indoor shops, but you do still have to pop one on while using public transport, rideshare vehicles and taxis — and in aged care facilities and hospitals as well. As has been the case as mask requirements ease, you will need to carry one with you at all times, though.

Again, all of the above rules will come into effect at 6pm on Friday evening — but one of the newly announced changes will kick in earlier, timed specifically for the AFL's second round of its just-started 2021 season. That means that on Thursday, March 25, when Collingwood take on Carlton at the MCG that night, 75-percent capacity crowds will be allowed into stadiums.

As always, the usual hygiene and social distancing practices remain in place, as does the request to get tested if you exhibit even minor COVID-19 symptoms.

Victoria currently has zero active coronavirus cases — yes, zero — as at midnight on Tuesday, March 23.

Restrictions in Victoria will change again at 6pm on Friday, March 26. For more information about the rules moving forward, head to the Victorian Department of Health website

Published on March 23, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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