Cinemas, campsites and real estate: Andrews announces further relief for Melbourne businesses

rent relief

As of 11.59pm Sunday night, metropolitan Melbourne’s COVID-19 restrictions have caught up and fallen back in line with those in regional Victoria.

Melbournites can roam free, further than 25km from their homes, and the ‘ring of steel’ around the city is gone.

A shift to the third step in the reopening roadmap also brings good news for Melbourne businesses.

Here’s what’s changed.

Hotels and accommodation

Hotels and accommodation businesses, including campsites, are now able to reopen to customers from anywhere in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews announced.

Businesses must have a COVIDSafe plan in place, but customers can use communal spaces and shared facilities, as long as a density requirement of one person per 4 square metres is met. There are also cleaning requirements in place.

There are some restrictions on who can make an accommodation booking.

Group bookings are limited to members of the same household, or members of the same household plus two adults from one household, and any children or dependents.

Theatres and cinemas

Indoor entertainment venues, including theatres, cinemas and galleries are able to open for the first time since March.

They will be able to admit up to 20 people per space, subject to density limits.

Up to 10 people are allowed per booking, and there must be at least 1.5 metres between groups.

Venues are also required to stagger performance times with intervals of at least 30 minutes, in order to avoid crowds in foyers and bathrooms.

Outdoor zoos, wildlife parks and petting zoos are able to reopen, as well as outdoor historic and tourist sites.

Hospitality

Cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants can now serve up to 70 people outdoors, and up to 40 people indoors.

Density limits still apply, and customers must still sign in and provide their details for the purposes of contact tracing.

Live music is also allowed outdoors, and in well-ventilated indoors spaces — although outdoor entertainment is still preferable, and restrictions apply.

Venues can now resume electronic gaming, allowing for up to 10 people in a gaming room, subject to density limits. These patrons count towards a venue’s total 40-person limit.

Gaming rooms must allow for at least 1.5 meters between players, and every second machine must be switched off.

Gyms and fitness studios

Indoor exercise businesses are now able to reopen, with a cap of 20 people indoors, and 10 people per studio or space.

A density limit of one person per 8 square metres of space applies.

For under 18s, however, up to 20 people can participate in an indoor activity such as a dance class.

Spectators for such classes are limited to one parent, guardian or carer per child if the child needs supervision.

Real estate

Real estate inspections and auctions are able to resume, with up to 10 people from different households, plus the owner of the property and real estate agent.

Libraries

Community venues such as libraries are able to open to up to 20 people indoors, with a maximum of 10 people per space, and are subject to density limits.

What’s next?

The Premier also outlined further changes from November 22, when the whole state will take the last step towards reopening.

At that point, hospitality businesses will be able to host up to 100 people indoors, and up to 200 outside.

There will also be further relaxing of restrictions for gyms, cinemas and other indoor venues. However, the Premier didn’t share much detail as to what this would look like, saying more detail will “be made available online”.

Limits for private gatherings will also increase to 10 people, and limits are expected to increase for religious services, weddings and funerals.

The State of Disaster status will not be renewed

However, the State of Emergency remains until at least December 6.

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