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Victorian Government announces unwinding of Melbourne’s Coronavirus restrictions but with no easing for gyms

Victorian Government announces unwinding of Melbourne’s Coronavirus restrictions but with no easing for gyms
October 19, 2020

With authorities confirming a marked decline in new cases of Coronavirus, the Victorian Government has announced an easing of some of the state’s severe Coronavirus restrictions.

As of midnight, Melbourne’s travel radius has been expanded to 25 kilometres and people will able to leave their homes for as long as they like.

Under the new rules, groups of up to 10 people from two households can gather outdoors while tennis courts, skate parks and golf courses will reopen and outdoor swimming pools will be able to host up to 30 swimmers.

Hospitality venues will be allowed to seat patrons indoors in accordance with the 4 metre² social distancing rule, but they will be limited to 10 people per indoor space, with a maximum of 20 people indoors in a venue.

While hairdressers will also reopen and outdoor maintenance and repair workers, mobile pet groomers and photographers will also be allowed to return to work, the easing does not include indoor aquatic, fitness, recreation and sport facilities with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews saying gyms would not yet reopen because they are a “high-risk environment”.

A number of restrictions in regional Victoria will also be eased ahead of schedule with hospitality venues allowed to increase their capacity to 70 people outside and 40 people inside.

Flagging that other sectors will have to stay shut until at least 1st November, Premier Andrews announced yesterday “there is some optimism, confidence even, but if things continue this week as they have the last five days, we may be able to bring that forward.”

However, the ‘ring of steel’ separating metropolitan Melbourne from regional Victoria will remain in place, with Premier Andrews noting “I ask Victorians to keep working very hard each day this week, so that we can stand up here next Sunday and make further announcements that what is slated for November 1 can be brought forward.”

Premier Andrews reiterated Victorians would not be allowed to gather and celebrate the upcoming AFL Grand Final next weekend.

He added that said more significant changes would come into place from 11.59pm on 1st November, including allowing up to two adults and their children to visit a home each day.

The Victorian Government’s new pathway out of lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria includes:

Metropolitan Melbourne
Step One: From 11:59pm Sunday 18th October

• Two-hour outdoor time limit scrapped
• 5 kilometre travel restriction extended to 25 kilometre 
• Outdoor gatherings up from five to 10
• Face-to-face allied health appointments to resume
• Tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen
• Outdoor swimming pools open to a maximum of 30 swimmers
• Hairdressers can reopen
• Outdoor real estate auctions permitted with up to 10 people, plus staff

Step Two: From 11:59pm on Sunday 1st November

• Up to two people, plus dependents, allowed to visit a home per day
• All retail shops can open
• Hospitality: maximum of 20 indoor seated customers (subject to one per four metre²), maximum of 50 outdoor patrons (subject to one per two metre²)
• Beauty and personal care services open
• Wedding groups of up to 10 permitted
• Up to 20 mourners allowed at funerals
• Outdoor religious gatherings and ceremonies capped at 20 people

Major Restrictions Remain:

• Approved face masks must be worn at all times outside home
• Work from home if possible
• All businesses must have a COVIDSafe plan    

Images: Riverslide Skate Park (top) and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews (below).

Related Articles

19th October 2020 - Victorian Premier omits ‘high-risk’ gyms from state’s reopening plans

16th October 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish maintains calls for gyms to open in regional Victoria

14th October 2020 - Live entertainment industry counts the cost of COVID

13th October 2020 - Vic Active continues to call for reopening of indoor fitness centres

12th October 2020 - Fitness Australia provides update on meeting with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer

10th October 2020 - Study highlights multiple physical and mental wellness benefits of Sauna Bathing

7th October 2020 - One in five of the world’s gyms remain closed

9th October 2020 - Victorian Aquatic Industry Alliance wants to see children back in the pool

8th October 2020 - Fitness Australia releases research showing impact of lockdown gym closures

7th October 2020 - Victorian Government delivers $7.85 million to support arts and cultural organisations

2nd October 2020 - Victorian Government undertakes to restore bushfire devastated forests

2nd October 2020 - Venues in 25 nations light up red to back #WeMakeEvents initiative

27th September 2020 - Australian Chamber Tourism welcomes regional funding but highlights cities also need support  

15th September 2020 - Fitness industry disappointed gyms in regional Victoria cannot reopen under this week’s Coronavirus easing

10th September 2020 - Ballarat Council advises outdoor pools to undergo safety procedures before reopening

8th September 2020 - Geelong Council prepares to reopen playgrounds and outdoor pools

9th August 2020 - Falls Creek Management announce resort closure due to Stage three Coronavirus restrictions

1st May 2020 - Fitness Australia report shows massive impact of Coronavirus closures on the industry

9th October 2017 - Melbourne City Council considers new skate parks

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