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Melbourne’s Lockdown Is Set to End, But a Few Restrictions Will Stay In Place

Melburnians are set to emerge from a tough two-week lockdown tomorrow night at 11:59pm. What was initially designed to be a “seven-day circuit breaker” turned into a two-week lockdown, given the insane amount of exposure sites and the unknown source of the Indian variant of COVID-19, the Delta strain, linked to the West Melbourne cluster.

Melbourne residents have been feeling the tension, with 11 new cases reported on Monday morning and a growing list of over 350 exposure sites, there was overwhelming chatter that the lockdown would be extended, yet again.

Currently, there are 83 COVID-19 cases in Victoria, and 68 are linked to local outbreaks. But despite this, the lockdown is set to end.

Both the Herald Sun and the ABC have confirmed the lockdown will ease as planned at 11.59pm on Thursday, given that Victoria recorded just one new local case of COVID-19 overnight.

But some restrictions, including travel limits, will be in place.

What are the new restrictions in Melbourne?

Metropolitan Melbourne will move to new restrictions from 11.59pm on Thursday, including:

  • Schools can resume face-to-face learning from Friday.
  • Masks will no longer be required outdoors unless social distancing of 1.5m cannot be adhered to.
  • Funerals will be limited to 50 people, weddings will be limited to 10.
  • Offices can return at 25% but those who can work from home will be asked to keep doing so.
  • Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service with up to 100 people per venue and a maximum of 50 inside.
  • Retail can reopen in line with density limits of one person per 4sqm.
  • Hair and beauty therapy can resume for treatments where masks can be worn.
  • Community sport can return to training in metropolitan Melbourne.
  • Auctions can happen outdoors with a maximum of 50 people.
  • Some entertainment venues and community facilities will also open in line with density limits and additional caps.

What are the new restrictions in regional Victoria?

Regional Victorian restrictions will ease from 11.59pm on Thursday, including:

  • Visitors to the home will be allowed with up to two adults per day, plus their dependants.
  • Public gatherings will be increased to 20 people.
  • Restaurants and cafes can open to a maximum of 150 for the venue for seated service, including up to 75 indoors.
  • Religious ceremonies will be capped at 150 for the venue, with no more than 75 people allowed indoors.
  • Funerals will be limited to 75 people while weddings will be limited to 20.
  • Offices will remain capped at 5%.
  • Community sport is back for all ages, both for training and competition.

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