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Victorians Will Start Easing Some Stay-at-Home Restrictions from Midnight on May 12

That means you can have up to five visitors in your home and groups of ten people are allowed to gather outside.
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
May 11, 2020
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
May 11, 2020

With COVID-19 testing ramping up in Victoria over the past few weeks — and 161,000 administered in the last fortnight — the state is preparing to relax some coronavirus-related restrictions. At the moment, Victoria has some of the most stringent rules in Australia, but come 11.59pm tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 12, a number of limitations will be lifted.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed the state's next stage of eased COVID-19 restrictions today, Monday, May 11, following a similar announcement at the federal level on Friday. While Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the nation's three-step plan to lift lockdown limitations between now and July before the weekend, that country-wide framework needs to be implemented at the state level individually by each state. Victoria's announcement coincides with the end of its second four-week state of emergency, which expires at midnight tonight.

Victoria's first stage of relaxed restrictions, will be introduced at 11.59pm on Tuesday, May 12, and remain in place with a renewed State of Emergency until 11.59pm on Sunday, May 31. A selection of normal, everyday activities that have been off the cards since March will be permissible once again, with the following allowed:

  • Up to five visitors in your home
  • Outdoor gatherings of up to ten people, including leaving the house for recreational activities such as hiking, jogging, fishing and golf
  • Weddings will be allowed to have a maximum of ten guests
  • Funerals with up to 20 mourners indoors and 30 outdoors
  • Religious gatherings and ceremonies will be permitted with up to 10 people

Previously, Victorians were only allowed to leave their homes for one of four reasons — to obtain food and supplies, to receive medical care or provide care yourself, for exercise and to attend work or education if you cannot do so from home — but from 11.59pm tomorrow night, there'll be a fifth reason: to visit friends and family.

The Premier has said that there's no limit on how far you can travel to visit friends and family or to exercise, but overnight stays are not allowed and camping, AirBnBs and hotels are still off-limits. He also said that the new rule is not an excuse to have "a rotating roster of acquaintances and associates – or your third best friend from primary school – over for a visit. This is about seeing those you need to – if you need to."

The Premier also said that "while the numbers are stable, there is a real need to be cautious", and Melburnians should work at home if they can until the end of May. "If you can stay at home — you must stay at home," the Premier said.

Unlike in NSW and Queensland, Victoria's cafes and restaurants are not yet allowed to reopen to dine-in customers, but the Premier is hopeful this will be allowed to in June, when they next step of eased restrictions is likely to be introduced. "As we go through this month, we'll keep reviewing the situation and our case numbers – and hopefully, we'll be able to make further announcements then," the Premier said.

For more information about NSW's eased restrictions, read the Premier's press release.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Published on May 11, 2020 by Samantha Teague
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