“Now is the time”: Relief for Melbourne hospo and retail, as Andrews announces Wednesday reopening

Daniel Andrews vaccine mandate

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Source: AAP/Erik Anderson.

Hospitality and retail businesses in Melbourne will be able to reopen from Wednesday, as Victoria records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since early-June.

“Now is the time to open up,” Andrews said in his afternoon press conference today.

As of 11.59pm on Tuesday, 27 October, 2020, metropolitan Melbourne is finally moving to the next step of reopening.

What’s changing?

As of Wednesday morning, all retail businesses will be able to reopen.

Hospitality businesses will be able to reopen to up to 20 people indoors — with 10 people per space — and up to 50 people outdoors.

Density requirements of one person for every 2 square metres will apply for outdoor diners.

Beauty, personal and tattooist businesses will also be able to reopen, for services that can be done while both customer and provider can wear a mask.

In order to allow businesses to get COVIDSafe measures in place in time for reopening on Wednesday, employees are able to attend the workplace immediately.

Outdoor community sport for under 18-year olds, and outdoor non-contact sports for adults, will also be able to go ahead.

Weddings will increase to allow for a maximum of 10 people, and funerals will allow up to 20 people.

There are also changes to outdoor gatherings. While the limit is still groups of 10 people, as of Wednesday, the two-household limit will no longer apply.

The 25km travel limit, and the border between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, is still in place, until November 8.

The next step

As of November 8, the plan is to “align both metro Melbourne and regional Victoria”, Andrews said.

From that date, gyms and fitness studios in Melbourne will be able to reopen, to a maximum of 20 people, with 10 per space, with density limits of one person per 8 square metres.

From November 8, restaurants, bars and cafes will be able to open to 40 people indoors. The 10-people-per-space limit will still apply.

Up to 70 people will be allowed outdoors, with density limits of one person per 2 square metres.

Responsibilities remain

The news comes as Victoria records zero new cases today, and no additional deaths.

The rolling daily average now stands at 3.6 for metropolitan Melbourne, and the city has seven active cases from an unknown source.

The 14-day average for regional Victoria is 0.2, with no active cases from an unknown source.

When asked whether this means Victorians can get on the beers, Andrews said he didn’t know if he would be having a beer tonight.

“I might be going higher up the shelf,” he said.

However, the Premier also warned against complacency.

“This belongs to every single Victorian … but it is not over,” he said.

The virus “is going to be a feature of our lives every day until a vaccine turns up”, he added.

“If this is to mean something we have to take our COVID-19 responsibilities to stay safe, to stay open.”


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