Victoria to ease coronavirus restrictions to allow gatherings of up to 20 people in homes

ABC NEWS logo ABC NEWS 24/05/2020 03:30:00

Victorians will be allowed to have up to 20 people in their homes and stay overnight at private residences and tourist accommodation from June 1, under an easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Public libraries, some entertainment and cultural venues and zoos will also be reopened with numbers limited.

Swimming pools will also reopen, with limits of 20 people and additional safety requirements in place.

Pictures: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Australia

But those who can work from home will be urged to continue to do so, to prevent the amount of contact that occurs when colleagues share bathrooms, kitchens and office spaces.

That will be reassessed during June, along with the cumulative impact of the lifted restrictions, Premier Daniel Andrews said.

"I know it's inconvenient ... but if you have been working from home you must keep working from home throughout June," he said.

Daniel Andrews wearing glasses and looking at the camera: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (ABC News: Gemma Hall) © ABC News: Gemma HallVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (ABC News: Gemma Hall) Mr Andrews announced the changes as it was revealed two new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Victoria overnight.

In an early concession ahead of the June changes, Victorians will be able to use outdoor playgrounds, skateparks and outdoor gym equipment from Tuesday - the same day many children return to state schools.

From June, camping will also be allowed at state and national parks, but communal facilities like kitchens and bathrooms will remain closed.

Victorians will be able to celebrate weddings with up to 20 people in addition to the celebrant and couple, and up to 50 people at funerals.

Up to 20 people will be allowed at other religious ceremonies, in addition to those required to perform the service.

Beauty services like nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours will be able to reopen with up to 20 customers per space and will be required to keep customer contact details.

Property inspections and auctions will also be subject to the same 20-person limit and requirements to keep details of attendees. 

Mr Andrews last week announced cafes, restaurants and pubs will be open to 20 patrons from June 1, provided physical-distancing guidelines were met.

The Premier again linked the gradual lifting of restrictions to the state's aim to prevent the pandemic from getting out of control as it had in countries overseas.

"There are examples in other countries where they opened too much, too quickly, and they've had to reintroduce even tougher rules, even tougher lockdowns," he said.

"We're doing this in a careful and cautious way, that's the only way to do it."

The State Opposition has criticised the Andrews Government for the speed at which restrictions have been eased, as other states allowed broader changes earlier this month.

Further easing planned from June 22

Mr Andrews said the state would look to further relax restrictions from June 22 if transmission rates remained low and testing rates remained high.

From that date, indoor fitness and recreation facilities are scheduled to open with up to 20 people per space and up to 10 people per group or activity at any one time.

Restaurants, cafes, galleries and museums will be allowed to host up to 50 people and for the first time, cinemas and theatres will reopen.

"And for those eager to hit the slopes, the ski season will open slightly later this year on June 22," Mr Andrews said.

24. toukokuuta 2020 6:30:00 Categories: ABC NEWS Makuja

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