Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, confirmed further easing of COVID-19 related restrictions he had earlier foreshadowed, effective from 11.59pm on Sunday 21st June.
From Monday 22nd June, pubs and hotels will be able to welcome 50 seated guests, with the removal of the requirement to purchase a meal with a drink, although the density quotient; social distancing; the need for all guests (on premises for longer than 15 mins) to provide their contact details, and the table service requirement will remain.
Other changes the Premier has confirmed include:
- If individuals can work from home they must continue to do so. Restricted Activity Direction No 9 has not changed, in this regard;
- The opening and use of shared facilities is allowed in camping grounds; sports centres; swimming centres and for school camps;
- Indoor sports centres and physical recreation spaces, including gyms, will be able to open to a maximum of 20 people per space and a cap of 10 per group;
- Cinemas, concert venues, theatres and auditoriums can open, with up to 50 people, per space;
- The ski season and ski accommodation will open;
- All sports training and competition to resume for those under 18 (appreciating lower transmission rates in this age group);
- Footy, soccer and other contact sport for over 18’s will be able to recommence training from 13th July. Full competition can recommence from 20th July;
Victoria’s Health Minister, Jenny Mikakos and Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton joined the Premier at the press conference. Ms Mikakos heralded the continued success of Victoria’s active and growing COVID-19 testing program, noting that Victoria is third in the world, in terms of the number of tests completed, per 100,000 head of population – at 8,913 tests per 100,000 Victorian’s.
Mr Sutton confirmed that 13,000 returning travellers had been housed in hotel quarantine since COVID-19 related compulsory hotel quarantining for this cohort commenced. He noted four to six new COVID-19 cases in this setting, per day, would not be totally unexpected as Victoria focuses on a COVID-19 suppression, rather than eradication strategy.
The Premier acknowledged the frustration that many pub/hotel operators might have if, due to overarching density quotient requirements, they were not able to accommodate 50 people in a particular enclosed space. He noted that these requirements were the subject of active discussion between Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and hinted they may be reviewed in two weeks’ time. This may result in a loosening of the ‘one person per four square metre’ rule.
Mr Andrews also referenced it is possible a differentiated strategy may be employed in the future where, for example, regional areas with low COVID-19 cases and transmissions may have more liberal restrictions applied than those with higher rates, perhaps in CBD areas. He finished by noting that confirmation of these announcements are as liberal and free as Victoria can afford to be, when dealing with a virus that is deeply infections and currently has no cure and no vaccine.
Click here for more information of the Easing of restrictions on June 22
Click here for information regarding the easing of restrictions in restaurants, cafes and other hospitality business.