Victorian restrictions eased overnight: curfew extended, social bubbles introduced

Melbourne CBD set to transform into alfresco dining hub

"The Victorian Chamber has been meeting with sole traders since the pandemic began and communicating their needs to the government, so we are pleased that those with commercial leases and in the worst affected sectors will be eligible for support in the form of cash grants".

Because regional Victoria's 14-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases is doing so well (currently sitting at 4.1) the state government says areas outside of greater Melbourne could move to the third step of easing within a matter of days.

The changes will allow public gatherings for as many as 10 people and schools will go back in term four (with the details still to be confirmed).

The gradual easing of restrictions, part of the "First Step" of the state's roadmap to reopening, comes as Victoria records just 35 new cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths today. "It is a very positive thing", Mr Andrews said.

Regional Victoria's is now 3.6, down from 3.9 yesterday.

Mr Andrews said hospitality venues would have 1.5 metres between tables and larger venues would be able to seat up to 50 patrons per venue outdoors and 10 people per space indoors to a limit of two spaces. Check your state's restrictions on gathering limits.

All businesses across Victoria, both regional and metropolitan, will also be required to have a COVIDSafe plan, which will be enforceable from September 28. "You can not be travelling to regional Victoria unless you absolutely need to", he said.

Restrictions in Melbourne were eased slightly on Monday, with the curfew reduced to 9pm to 5am, the allowed exercise time doubled to two hours and the introduction of "household bubbles" for people who live alone.

Outdoor pools and playgrounds have reopened, and religious services can be conducted outside with a maximum of five people plus a faith leader.

Real estate auctions will take place again with a limit of 10 people.

Face coverings are mandatory and residents are still encouraged to only leave home for four essential reasons, however the five kilometre distance rule is no longer in place across regional Victoria.

"Looks like the security at the Melbourne/Regional Victoria border is already being stepped up".

And to further help the hospitality industry the Victorian Government have announced a $87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package which will provide to councils and businesses outside of Melbourne's CBD to make widespread outdoor dining safe, practical and a reality this summer.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) said there was a total of 82 cases with an unknown source in metropolitan Melbourne, and one in regional Victoria.

Premier Andrews also announced further support to bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels and reception centres, with the establishment of a $251 million dedicated Licenced Venue Fund, with grants of between $10,000 and $30,000 for licenced venues of all shapes and sizes.

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