STATEMENT FROM THE PREMIER:
OVER the past two weeks, we’ve tested more than 160,000 Victorians for coronavirus. I want to thank each and every one of them for playing their part in protecting our state. The job isn’t done yet – and that size and scale of testing will continue to be a big part of our response in the weeks and months to come.
But because of that initial data, we’ve been able to get a better understanding of the way the virus is moving through our community. And with it, greater insight into how we can respond.
Today – thanks to the efforts of Victorians – I can announce our cautious next steps. As we have worked to flatten the curve, we’ve been telling Victorians there’s only four reasons to be out: shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study or work – if you can’t do it from home.
From 11:59pm this Tuesday night, there’s now a fifth reason to leave home: visiting friends and family – with a maximum gathering of up to ten outdoors and having up to five visitors in your home. I know this will come as a welcome relief, but I need to be clear.
Although these are our first steps back towards normalcy – they are not an invitation to host a dinner party every night of the week. It’s not about having 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.
We’re asking Victorians to limit their circle to just family and friends.
That means that when we do have outbreaks and positive cases – and we will – we can test and trace and effectively contain the spread. I want to be clear: just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
For our family, that means I won’t see my Mum for a little while. She’s in her 70s – and she has a number of conditions that would put her at risk.
So, for now, we’re going to have to stay connected in different ways, with FaceTime calls, gifts in the mail or an old-fashioned letter. As hard as that is, no visit is worth putting her safety at risk.
I’m asking all Victorians to think about these things when you’re making your own plans with the people you love. We’re also able to make some changes to rules for some of the most significant gatherings in any of our lives: weddings will now be able to have ten guests and up to 20 people will be able to attend funerals held indoors and up to 30 if they’re outdoors.
More of the outdoor recreational activities that so many Victorians have been missing will also be allowed: walking groups, fishing, hiking – and yes, even a game of golf. These activities will be subject to physical distancing to help keep people safe.
These new restrictions and a renewed State of Emergency will be in place until 11:59pm on Sunday 31 May.
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. But with more freedom comes more responsibility.
I’m asking Victorians to use common sense – you should only spend time together if it’s safe.
And you should only be undertaking these activities if you really need to. If it’s integral to your health and wellbeing.
Use your judgement. And think about the health of your fellow Victorians.
For information about coronavirus visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call 1800 675 398.
Because right now, staying apart is what’s keeping us together. And none of us want to squander everything we’ve achieved.
None of us want to have to take a backwards step. And none of us want to be responsible for the loss of someone we love – or someone we’ve never met.
That means it’s up to all of us to make this work. And it’s why our message has not changed: if you can stay at home – you must stay at home.
SUMMARY OF VICTORIA STEP 1 EASING
Outdoor gatherings – Allow public gatherings of 10. Includes household members and other people but up to a maximum of 10. A person cannot organise, or knowingly attend, a gathering of more than 10 people.
Indoor gatherings – Allow up to 5 visitors at home in addition to the normal residents of a household. The residence includes the outside and inside of private premises – so the total number of guests is 5 whether they are outside or inside the house.
Workplaces – Work at home unless not possible. Stay at home if you are unwell. Workplaces should develop a COVID-19 plan in accordance with NCCC guidance and the Safe Work Australia National COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles. Maintain (where possible): physical distancing, 4 square metres per person indoors, Hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, Frequent environmental cleaning & disinfection (particularly for shared workspaces)
Weddings – Allow 10 guests in addition to the couple and celebrant. Additional requirement to keep records of names and contact details of each guest, to assist in contact tracing if required.
Funerals – Allow 20 mourners indoors. People required to conduct the funeral are allowed in addition. Not if held at a private residence – the 5 visitors maximum rule applies. Allow 30 mourners outdoors plus people to run the funeral. (this is a special exemption for compassionate reasons) Additional requirement to keep records of names and contact details of each guest, to assist in contact tracing if required.
Religious public gatherings, places of worship, private prayer, mosques – Allow private worship or small religious ceremonies of up to 10 people plus additional people required to conduct the ceremony. Additional requirement for those conducting religious ceremonies to keep records of contact details of each guest to a ceremony, to assist in contact tracing if required.
Hairdressers and barber shops – Closed only if person density rule cannot be adhered to. Additional requirement to keep records of names and contact details of each client serviced, to assist in contact tracing if required.
Retail – Stay home, except for essential reasons. No specific restrictions on retail stores, indoor shopping malls, shopping centres; other than physical distancing, person density rules, cleaning for indoor spaces. Maintain: physical distancing, 4 square metres per person indoors, Hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, Frequent environmental cleaning & disinfection.
Auction houses – Allow 10 people plus minimum number of people reasonably required to facilitate auction. Density quotient applies. Operator required to keep records of names and contact details of each client serviced, to assist in contact tracing if required.
Real estate auctions and open house inspections – For auctions, allow 10 people plus minimum number of people reasonably required to facilitate auction (plus occupants of residence) For inspections, allow 10 people plus minimum number of people reasonably required to facilitate inspection (plus occupants of residence) Operator required to keep records of names and contact details of each client, to assist in contact tracing if required.
Restaurants and cafes – Restaurants and cafes only open for takeaway.
Casinos, gaming and gambling venues – Maintain baseline restrictions on bars and gaming rooms. Any cafes or restaurants must adhere to the restrictions on cafes and restaurants
Community facilities – Such as: – Community centres and halls – Youth centres – PCYC’s – Community clubs (sporting facilities component) – RSL clubs (sporting facilities component) Expand permitted operations to be for the purpose of hosting an essential public support service or support group Where permitted to operate the following requirements apply: • Allow 10 people for a support group plus minimum number of people reasonably required to operate facility or support group. • Density quotient applies. • Does NOT include use for the purposes of exercise or sport. Operator must keep contact lists per other operators. This means people will be able to attend a hall in a small group for • parents’ group • youth group • AA meeting • NA meeting • Alcohol and drugs, family violence and parenting support groups • Foodbank
Local government nonessential facilities and services (Libraries) – Can be used solely as a venue for essential services or support group with 10 people (see community centres). Operator must keep contact lists per other operators.
National and State Parks – Allow hiking, fishing, hunting, prospecting, diving, boating and other recreational activities on public land, but maximum gatherings of 10. Includes household members and others but maximum of 10. For households more than 10, they can gather together outside. Expressly state no camping permitted anywhere (I.e. daytime activity only).
Public parks, public playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skate parks – Closed. Exception for sport, exercise and recreation that can be conducted in park with max 10 people.
Sport – Sport and exercise Allowed if: • up to 10 people (or people of the same household) • outdoors • activity must be reasonably capable of being done with people spaced 1.5m apart • reasonable effort to maintain 1.5m between participants at all times. Operator required to keep contact lists per other operators. If the sport has an instructor, e.g. personal training, that person(s) is in addition to the 10 people. i.e. 10 participants plus minimum number of people reasonably required to operate boot camp/personal training. Operator required to keep contact lists per other operators. No other limitations on outdoor sport. Also no prohibition on hunting, fishing or boating. No sport indoors (other than at own premises) are permitted – so indoor sports centres should remain closed. Advice only: No shared equipment that touches head or face or cannot be effectively cleaned (e.g. soft materials / clothing like overalls). Hand hygiene, frequent environmental cleaning & disinfection, use of own equipment where possible and minimise sharing of equipment. Professional sport Permit use of otherwise restricted facilities such as pools, gyms, arenas, stadiums etc for professional sports use only (without public). Condition that the relevant professional sporting organisation must have exclusive use of the facility at the time of use (i.e. not allow public access) and take all reasonable steps to manage public health risks for users. Operator must keep contact lists per other operators.
Boot camps, personal training – Allow up to 10 people outdoors plus the instructor. (Indoor sports centres and venues, and gyms must not open). Bring own equipment where possible (e.g. gym mat) or disinfect equipment between each use.
Caravan Parks and associated Camping Grounds – Closed to tourists. Open only for residents, essential workers. Continue to allow accommodation for FIFO and essential workers, those displaced by bushfires, those without another form of permanent accommodation. Adhere to advice provided to operators of caravan parks. Limit any gatherings to the restrictions gathering sizes.
Hostels – Open for accommodation, restaurants and cafes closed. Limit any gatherings to the restrictions on gathering sizes.