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As of May 12, social distancing in Victoria has begun to ease, with up to 5 people being allowed to visit other households and up to 10 people being allowed to gather in public places.

Here is the latest update on:

  • Social distancing in Victoria
  • Education
  • Work
  • Travel 
  • What’s open? 
  • What are the fines if you don’t follow the rules?

(This article will be updated as new changes are implemented to keep you informed.)

Social distancing in Victoria

The Victorian government says Victorians may leave the home for five reasons:

  • To shop for food and other necessary goods and services
  • To access medical services or provide caregiving – for example, this includes shared parenting obligations or providing care and support to an unwell, disabled, elderly or pregnant friend or relative
  • To attend work or education where you can’t do those things from home
  • To exercise and participate in some recreational activities adhering to the rules
  • To visit friends, family and loved ones while adhering to the rules

As of May 12, Victorian residents are allowed to:

  • Welcome 5 guests to their home
  • Meet 9 friends or family members in public places
  • Attend weddings that can now have up to 10 guests
  • Attend funerals that can now have up to 20 guests if they are indoors or 30 guests if they are outdoors
  • Partake in outdoor sports such as golf, athletics, hiking, fishing and playing football with up to 10 players

Additionally, professional training, particularly AFL and NRL will be allowed to resume from tomorrow at midnight.

Education

Term two will see students continuing to learn from home. At present 97% of Victorian state schools are closed

When it comes to students returning to face-to-face learning, Andrews says that the Victorian government is locking down a plan for a return to face to face learning by the end of term two.

Work

There will be no clear indication of when workplaces will reopen. In the latest announcement, Andrews says that people who can work remotely should continue to do so.

It is likely that there will be more answers on when Victorians can return to work by stage two of Morrison’s three-stage plan. As it stands, non-essential businesses are closed, as are offices in which the work can be performed remotely.

If you are a business owner and unsure about where you stand, you can call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. The Business Victoria team will be able to provide you with the latest information and guidelines on which businesses can remain open and how to keep these workplaces safe. 

Travel 

There are no limits on how far you can travel within Victoria, however, you need to have an essential reason to be travelling, and Victorians are urged to be brief in their expeditions outside of the home. 

If you are using private modes of transport, social distancing rules apply and you should only travel with members of your household. 

Public transport is still active, however, passengers are asked to avoid travelling during peak hours if they need to get to school or work. While on public transport, passengers are asked to maintain social distancing and wash their hands thoroughly before and after using public transport. 

There are no restrictions on crossing Victoria’s border, however, the border rules of other states will apply to you if you cross them and you need to have a reasonable reason to travel.

What’s open?

  • Grocery stores
  • Public transport 
  • Chemists 
  • Petrol stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Freight and delivery services
  • Childcare centres
  • Shopping centres
  • Hairdressers (for 30 minutes appointments only)
  • Cafes and restaurants for takeaway only
  • Mechanics
  • Butchers and bakeries
  • GP clinics
  • Universities and TAFEs, although many have resorted to online lectures
  • Banks

Unlike other states, Victoria’s cafes and restaurants will continue to do takeaway only. Andrews said that more details on cafes and restaurants will follow by stage two in June, following a “testing blitz” that is currently underway.

A number of national and state parks will also be re-opening in the coming weeks.

What are the fines if you don’t follow the rules?

Victoria Police has been given the power to issue on the spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses who refuse or fail to comply with the Chief Health Officer’s and Deputy Chief Health Officer’s emergency directions or public health risk directions.

On the spot fines are at the discretion of police officers.

Read: What is the unemployment rate in Australia?

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