Australia

Home visits in Melbourne allowed once again from tonight under eased coronavirus rules

Victoria is one day away from eliminating coronavirus. Source: AAP

It comes as Victoria marks two days in a row with no new COVID-19 cases for the first time since early March.

Melburnians will be able to visit one another at home once again from 11:59pm Tuesday under new socialising rules announced by the Victorian government.

However, there is a cap of two adult visitors per house, plus any dependents who cannot be left alone, per day.

While there is no time limit on how long visits can last for, people cannot travel further than 25km of their own place of residence for the gathering.

Only one private gathering can occur per party.

“That means that's your one visit and the person who you're visiting, they can't have other visitors after that as well,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Tuesday.

“I know it's not a nice thing to say or a nice thing for anyone to acknowledge but the place where you feel safest, your home, is actually the most dangerous environment for the spread of this virus.”

The government is also asking that people keep a record of who has been to their home and when, so that information can be of assistance to contact tracers in the event of an outbreak.

Mr Andrews acknowledged the rules would likely prove difficult for sharehouses and inhabitants would need to alternate who is able to receive guests each day.

“The notion of having a rotation, that's what will have to happen inside the house,” he said.

“You can go down the park, though, with as many households as you like as long as you haven't got more than 10 people.”

Victoria on Tuesday recorded no new coronavirus cases or deaths for a second consecutive day. 

It is the first time since the start of March where Victoria has recorded two days in a row with no new cases.

Melbourne's rolling 14-day case average is down to 2.8 and there have been only six mystery cases from 11-24 October. The corresponding figures for regional areas are 0.2 and zero.

There are 87 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria, with seven of those infections in healthcare workers. Five people are in hospital.

Mr Andrews on Monday confirmed the state government was ending one of the world’s longest coronavirus lockdowns.

All retail and hospitality businesses in Melbourne have been given the green light to reopen, residents will be able to leave their homes for any reason and up to 10 people from any number of households will be able to gather outdoors. 

Monday represented Victoria's first 'donut day', where the state recorded zero new cases in a 24 hour period, since 9 June. 

Mr Andrews said on Tuesday it was important Victorians continued to get tested for COVID-19 as soon as they registered symptoms.

“Come forward and get tested, and get a test that day. Don't wait until tomorrow or two or three days,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and business leaders are urging Mr Andrews to completely reopen Victoria by Christmas.

"We look forward to Victoria continuing to make progress on the path to reopening and joining the rest of the country at steps two and three in the national plan," Mr Morrison said.

Australia's coronavirus death toll sits at 905, with 817 of the fatalities in Victoria. 

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction'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.

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, VictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.

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