The Victorian government has removed stay-at-home orders for residents in regional parts of the state, following advice from chief health officer Brett Sutton.
There have been no new coronavirus cases in regional Victoria, and thousands of primary close contacts have been cleared from the regions over the last few weeks, allowing the lockdown to be lifted last night at 11:59pm (AEST).
While there is no limit on the distance regional Victorians can travel from home, people are only able to travel to Melbourne for a permitted reason, and they must follow the Melbourne restrictions once there.
Private gatherings in the home are still not permitted in regional Victoria, but outdoor gatherings in public spaces can occur with up to 10 people. Face masks are still mandatory indoors and outdoors.
Food and hospitality can open for seated service only with a density requirement of one person per four square metres will apply, and with a maximum of 100 people per venue. Venues smaller than 100 square metres can have up to 25 people before density requirements apply.
Entertainment venues can have up to 300 people per outdoor space with a density requirement of one person per four square metres and a cap of 100 people per space indoors.
“We’ve always said the moment it’s safe to lift restrictions, we will,” Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said.
“While we continue to get on top of this outbreak in Melbourne, minimal primary close contacts and no new cases means we can ease setting[s] in regional Victoria.”
“This outbreak is an important reminder that until more Australians are vaccinated, we cannot afford complacency to creep in – we must stay safe to stay open.”
The move comes as Victorian health officials weigh up whether or not to extend Melbourne’s lockdown beyond Thursday.
Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders have been introduced for the Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire local government areas of NSW until Tuesday 17 August.
The rules for these areas are the same as those already in place across Greater Sydney, as well as Tamworth, Armidale, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Singleton, Dungog, Muswellbrook and Cessnock.
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