Hospitality, retail and beauty services to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions ease in Melbourne

James Merlino Victoria

Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino. Source: AAP/Daniel Pockett

Restrictions in Melbourne will ease from midnight Thursday, as the state recorded one new local case of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Acting Premier James Merlino outlined new COVID-19 restrictions in a press conference on Wednesday morning, saying hospitality, non-essential retail and beauty services can reopen with some limitations.

Cafes, restaurants and pubs can reopen for seated service with a cap of 100 people per venue and density requirement of one person per four square metres. Only 50 people will be allowed indoors and all venues must have QR code check in systems in place. 

Non-essential retail can reopen provided there are four square metres of space for each person, while hair and beauty businesses can reopen for services that can be carried out while wearing masks.

Entertainment and leisure venues can also reopen, albeit at 25% seated capacity with a maximum of 50 people per venue. And, indoor fitness studios are to remain closed.  

Masks are no longer required outdoors where social distancing is possible. However, they must be worn in shops and on public transport. 

Larger businesses with offices can welcome 25% of their staff back on site, and smaller businesses can have a maximum of 10 staff on premises. All workplaces will be required to use a QR code check in system. 

Melbourne residents will be able to travel up to 25km from their homes for any reason but they can only travel beyond that limit for work, study, care giving or medical treatment.

The ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown, which began on May 27, is the state’s fourth coronavirus lockdown. Following a seven-day extension of the lockdown, the government announced further support for businesses including grants of up to $7000. 

On Tuesday, 19,533 Victorians received a vaccine and more than 28,000 Victorians were tested for COVID-19 across the state’s 200 testing sites.

There are 68 active cases linked to the outbreak which began in Melbourne’s north, and a total of 83 cases in the state, including in hotel quarantine.

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