Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews announced the next stage of cautious easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. Importantly, these include reductions in trading restrictions for Victoria’s accommodation hotel network.
The announcement comes as Victoria has met conditions set by Australia’s National Cabinet as appropriate triggers to relax restrictions, including having boosted contact tracing; successfully locked down outbreaks as they occur and increased the number of Victorians being tested for the virus. The Premier reinforced that these options have made possible earlier than expected, particularly given 174,000 tests have been completed since 11 May, in excess of a May 31 target of 150,000 tests. They are based on medical observations from real test data, not on guess work Mr Andrews said
The announcement enable the following activities to occur from 11.59pm on Sunday 31st May:
Overnight stays can resume across Victoria’s accommodation network.
Overnight stays permitted in private residences and in caravans and camping grounds (however without the use of communal facilities).
Outdoor skate parks, playgrounds and communal gyms will reopen (from Tuesday 26 May)
A total of 20 people will be permitted in private homes.
Limits on most significant ceremonies will be raised – up to 20 people at weddings and 50 at funerals, in addition to those required to deliver the service
Libraries, youth centres and other community facilities can operate, with no more than 20 people in a single area.
Galleries, museums, drive in cinemas, historic sites, zoos and outdoor amusement parks can open, with a 20 person capacity in undivided spaces.
Restrictions on professional sport will remain unchanged.
Beauty and personal care services, including nail salons, spas and tattoo palours can operate, with a 20 person limit and client contact details to be kept.
Auctions and open for inspections allowed, again with a 20 person maximum and customer contact details kept.
Non-food and drink market stalls can reopen.
From 22nd June:
Indoor fitness and recreation facilities open, with up to 20 people per space and up to 10 people per group or activity, at any one time.
Up to 50 people will be permitted in restaurants, cafés, galleries, museums, cinemas and theatres.
The ski season will open.
The Premier reflected that these rules, the “COVID-new normal,” will be in place for a long time, particularly given “small cautious steps forward” are by far preferable to “big backward steps,” if having to instead deal with a significant spike in infections. He reiterated that if Victorians are still able to work from home they should continue to do so and encouraged them to get tested for the virus if they feel unwell.
TAA (Vic) and AHA (Vic) will continue to work with the State Government and relevant government departments to finalise standard operating procedures for reopening, that will enable accommodation hotels to reopen in a cautious, responsible and sustainable way.