Here's everything you need to know about the roadmap out of lockdown for Melbourne and regional Victoria

Confused by the new roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions in Victoria? Here's what you need to know.

A general view of La Trobe Street in Melbourne, Thursday, 3 September, 2020.

A general view of La Trobe Street in Melbourne, Thursday, 3 September, 2020. Source: AAP

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has released the state government's long-awaited roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions.

Melburnians are facing an additional two weeks in Stage 4 lockdown, but a number of restrictions will be changing, he said on Sunday. 

Restrictions in Melbourne and regional Victoria will be lifted in five stages at different paces, concluding with a 'COVID-normal' step when there are no new cases recorded in the state in 28 days. 

Read on for the details of when the steps will be introduced, what restrictions will be lifted, and what rules will remain in place.

First step

This stage will be introduced from 11.59pm next Sunday, 13 September, in metropolitan Melbourne. It does not apply to regional Victoria.

What will change:

  • The nightly curfew will be moved back an hour, from 9pm-5am
  • Public outdoor gatherings will be increased to two people or a household
  • Daily exercising limit is doubled to two hours in a maximum of two sessions
  • People who live alone will be allowed to nominate one other person to be in a "social bubble" and visit at home

What will stay the same: 

  • Childcare will remain closed
  • Students will continue remote learning
  • Working from home will continue, unless you are in a permitted industry
  • Hospitality businesses will continue operating in take-away and delivery only
  • Only one person in a household is permitted to shop for essential supplies per day

Second step

This stage will be introduced in Melbourne on 28 September if the average daily case rate drops to between 30-50 over a 14-day period.

It will begin at midnight on 13 September in regional Victoria.

What will change in Melbourne: 

  • Outdoor public gatherings will be extended to five people from two households
  • Childcare can reopen
  • Some students - Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2, VCE and specialist schools - will return to in-class learning for Term 4
  • Outdoor pools can reopen and personal training will be allowed outdoors
  • Outdoor religious gatherings of up to five people, plus one faith leader, will be permitted

What will change in regional Victoria:

  • The changes in Melbourne will also apply to regional Victoria, though all students - not just Prep to VCE and specialist school students - will begin a staged return to classrooms
  • Hairdressers can reopen

What will stay the same:

  • Metropolitan Melbourne's curfew will remain
  • Interstate travel is still banned, unless for a permitted purpose

Third step

This step can be introduced from 26 October in Melbourne if the daily case average has decreased to five or less over a 14-day average, and no more than five cases with an unknown source are recorded in the state over a fortnight.

For regional Victoria, it will be introduced when there are five cases or less recorded in the regions in a fortnight, and none with an unknown source. 

What will change in Melbourne: 

  • The curfew will be lifted
  • People will be able to leave home for any reason and travel an unlimited distance
  • The limit on public outdoor gatherings will be increased to 10 people
  • "Household bubbles" will be permitted and five visitors at home will be allowed
  • Schools will see a potential staged return of Years 3-10 based on epidemiology reports
  • Hospitality businesses will be able to reopen for eat-in dining, as long as seating is predominantly outdoors and groups are limited to 10 people
  • All retail will open, including hairdressers
  • Weddings and funerals will be extended to 10 and 20 people respectively
  • Religious services can have 10 attendees plus a faith leader outdoors
  • Outdoor non-contact sport for adults can resume, as can outdoor contact and non-contact sport for under 18s
  • Some interstate travel will be allowed to designated regions

What will change in regional Victoria:

  •  Curfew and school returns aside, all changes in Melbourne will also apply to regional Victoria

What will stay the same: 

  • Beauty services to remain closed
  • People will still be encouraged to work from home if they can

Fourth step 

This stage is scheduled for 23 November if no new cases are recorded in Victoria for a fortnight. It is the same for both Melbourne and regional Victoria.

What will change: 

  • Gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed outdoors
  • Interstate travel can resume
  • Up to 20 people will be allowed to visit at home
  • Universities and TAFE to return to on-site learning
  • Dine-in hospitality will be permitted indoors with a group limit of 20
  • Retail and entertainment venues can reopen
  • All contact sport can resume for adults
  • Fifty guests will be permitted for weddings and funerals
  • Religious services will be allowed in indoor and outdoor settings with social distancing
  • Real estates can open with safety measures

What will stay the same:

  • People will still be encouraged to work from home if possible

'COVID normal'

This stage can be introduced state-wide when no new cases are recorded in Victoria for 28 days, there are no active cases, and no concerning outbreaks in other states and territories.

What will change:

  • There will no longer be restrictions in the wider community other than social distancing
  • People who have been working from home can return to the workplace

What will stay the same:

  • International borders will remain closed

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. 

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (up to age 25). 

More information about mental health is available at Beyond Blue.


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Published 6 September 2020 at 3:53pm, updated 6 September 2020 at 6:53pm
By Maani Truu