Victoria is set to achieve a significant milestone on its Roadmap, reaching its 70 per cent double vaccination target nearly a week early. Due to this, restrictions are set to ease from 11:59pm on 21 October.
“The milestone we’re about to hit marks a new and hopeful path for the whole state – allowing businesses to reopen and Victorians to get back to things they love,” says Daniel Andrews, Premier of the Victorian Government.
This change will see restaurants and cafés able to reopen with up to 20 people indoors, dependent on density limits, and only if all attendees including staff are fully vaccinated. The state government says this is a higher cap than what was initially planned in the Roadmap, following discussions between the hospitality sector and the public health team.
Outdoor settings including outdoor cafés, cinemas, and more will open up to 50 people per venue, but are subject to density limits and for fully vaccinated patrons.
“We welcome the additional weekend of trade and we welcome the additional easing particularly around hospitality, but we are short of where New South Wales is at and we need to close that gap quickly,” says Paul Guerra, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive.
“We continue to ask for clarification on the isolation requirements and Tier One and Two classification of businesses in the event of a COVID-19 exposure after we hit 80 per cent. It’s not viable to continue shutting businesses down for long periods.”
Weddings, funerals, and religious gatherings can take place outdoors with up to 50 people indoors and 20 people indoors, dependent on density limits and if all attendees are vaccinated. If vaccination status is unknown, only 10 people are permitted indoors for these events.
Masks will still be required indoors and outdoors for all Victorians.
Metropolitan Melbourne’s curfew and 15-kilometre radius lifted. Movement between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne, however, is still restricted to limit the spread of the virus to regional areas which have nearly reached the 80 per cent double vaccination target.
In regional Victoria, indoor settings such as restaurants and cafés will be increased from 10 to 30 people per venue, given that everyone is vaccinated.
The Victorian Government’s additional $407.5 million funding that was added to the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund at the start of October will continue to see automatic payments between $500 and $20,000 granted to eligible cafés, restaurants, hotels, and bars on a weekly basis until the end of the month. Reduced payments will reflect lower restrictions as part of the Roadmap.
The Roadmap was developed based on modelling from the Burnet Institute with COVID-19 thresholds, including hospitalisation rates and vaccination targets, set out in the state government’s National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.
The next milestone on the roadmap will be 80 per cent double dose vaccination, which is predicted to be in the first week of November just before Melbourne Cup Day.
For more info on the Roadmap or to book a vaccination click here.