Victoria is the last state to announce an easing of restrictions after Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined the federal government’s three-step-plan to bring the country back to normality by July. Premier Daniel Andrews announced significant changes to current regulations, to be enacted from tomorrow night.
Five visitors will be allowed into homes, and groups of ten can gather outdoors. A legitimate reason for leaving home beyond the four reasons previously established will be “visiting family and friends”.
Victorians will be permitted to fish, hike, play golf and participate in walking groups provided social distancing is maintained. The government also aims to see students return to classrooms before the conclusion of term two. Inter-state travel is still off the table.
The government announced changes towards permitting professional sports. “Training resuming paves the way for footy to be back and I think we all want that, provided it’s safe, appropriate and can be done in a cautious way and I’m confident that it can be,” Mr Andrews said.
Community non-contact sports will also be permitted. “If you are sharing equipment, you should try to minimise that,” he said. “But if it’s unavoidable, given the nature of the sport, then you should hand sanitise, clean the equipment, all of those quite logical things.”
Ten people will be allowed in attendance at weddings, and 20 at funerals indoors or 30 outdoors. As well, religious gatherings may run with up to 10 people.
The Premier warned that changes to restrictions is not an indication to resume normal life activities. “This is not an invitation to be out every hour of every day or to be having friends over every lunch and every dinner,” he said.
“That’s not what this is about. And if we all did that, then we will have less options in June because our testing program, the biggest in the country, will find many, many more positives because nothing will happen but spread the virus.
“This is about seeing those you need to, if you need to.”