Victoria COVID restrictions declared, together with 25km radius and Melbourne Metro shared with regional
With Victorian spending its first day under relaxed restrictions, a number of questions about traversing the Ring of Steel, gatherings, and the new radius have been answered.
After Daniel Andrews made his much-anticipated COVID announcement on Sunday, Melburnians are now allowed to travel 15 miles from home and time outdoors is unlimited.
Outdoor gatherings have also grown to 10 from two households, and Melburnians can also get their hair cut, renovate their home, wash their car and bid at auction.
But there were questions about what’s next and the travel rules between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.
During the press conference on Monday, Andrews answered some of the key questions.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews leaves a press conference in Melbourne on Sunday October 18, 2020. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE
Can someone from the Victoria area visit a hairdresser in Melbourne?
After months of forced closure, hairdressers will be able to return to the metropolis of Melbourne on Monday.
“Good news for those who are assessing the scissors or thinking carefully about a buzzcut – hairdressers can open in compliance with strict security protocols,” said a statement by the Prime Minister on Sunday.
On Monday he was asked if someone from the Victoria area could visit a hairdresser in Melbourne.
The Prime Minister said they weren’t allowed to cross the Ring of Steel unless their nearest barber was across that line.
“We don’t want people to make unnecessary trips,” he said.
“I think there are very, very few examples where a person has to travel a considerable distance to gain access to such a service.”
Why was the radius 25 km?
On Monday, Andrews reiterated that the radius had been expanded to 25 km to prevent Melbourne residents from traveling to certain locations.
“It’s about some parts of Melbourne that have more viruses than others and 15 miles means you will move less between them,” Andrews said.
Golfers Don Jones (left) and Michael Constable can be seen on Monday at the Albert Park Golf Course in Melbourne. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE
“There are some places that are very popular for their natural beauty, be it the Mornington Peninsula or the Dandenong Ranges.
“We cannot have a situation where everyone is at the 1000 steps and we literally have people forming a crowd that is never allowed to be large at this point.”
Andrews said that if restrictions continue to ease, the 25 km limit will be lifted.
When will Melbourne know what’s next?
Andrews said he could make announcements as early as this Sunday revealing the next roadmap.
When asked when the 25 km radius would work, the prime minister said it might be possible in “a few weeks”.
“It could even be earlier depending on whether we can release the numbers this weekend after Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” he said.
What is expected to happen from November 1st?
According to the state government’s latest plan, all retailers in the Melbourne metropolitan area will be able to resume trading from 11:59 p.m. on November 1st.
But it could happen sooner depending on the number of cases.
Restaurants can accommodate up to 20 indoor customers and up to 50 outdoor customers subject to density restrictions, while beauty and personal care services could also open with strict COVIDsafe plans.
People are seen training in Melbourne on Monday. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE
A maximum of two people plus two relatives are allowed to visit houses once a day.
Contact sports for under 18s and non-contact sports for adults will be resumed.
A maximum of 20 people are allowed for outdoor religious gatherings.
Up to 10 people are allowed at weddings and 20 mourners at funerals.
Can a Melburnian visit someone in the Victoria area from November 1st?
If restrictions can be further eased on November 1st, limited household gatherings are allowed in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
A maximum of two people plus two relatives are allowed to visit the houses once a day.
But someone in Melbourne hoping to visit someone in the Victoria area, or vice versa, will have to wait a little longer.
Visiting someone in the Victoria area is not a valid reason for Melburnians to cross the Ring of Steel.
Barber Ethan Hemtyar gives client Carlo Greco a haircut at the Captain Style Barbershop in Melbourne on Monday. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE
Can someone go to their local property in preparation for the bushfire?
Andrews made it clear that those who live in metropolitan Melbourne can be more than 15 miles from their home in order to prepare a second home or business for an emergency.
“However, traveling to your second emergency home should be your last resort,” he said.
If residents are able to use local contractors to prepare the property, they should opt to do so, but if they cannot, there is a list of requirements.
“If you cannot hire contractors on your behalf, you will only be able to travel if you have been issued a fire safety notice or requested and received a letter of support from your local council,” said Andrews.