Your questions answered: Which COVID-19 restrictions will ease and what this means for Melburnians

After more than 100 days in lockdown, from 11.59pm on Sunday the state government will change many of the COVID-19 restrictions that govern daily life in Melbourne, but what does this mean for the city's residents?

Many questions remain about what Melburnians will be allowed and not allowed to do on Monday, from November 2 and beyond. We’ve attempted to answer a few:

How far can I go from my home?

People will now be able to travel in a 25-kilometre radius from their homes, up from five kilometres. You can't travel beyond the metropolitan boundary, even if it is within your 25-kilometre radius.

Melburnians will be able to travel within a 25-kilometre radius of home.Credit:Getty Images

What reasons can I leave my home for?

People must continue to stay at home unless for the four permitted reasons – to shop for food and other necessary goods; for care or compassionate reasons; for work or education; for exercise or social interaction. From Monday, though, this now includes a chop and colour at a hairdresser.

From 11.59pm on November 1, the four reasons to leave home will be scrapped.

How long can I go outside and exercise for?

Melburnians will be able to exercise or socialise outdoors for as long as they like as of Monday, as the two-hour time limit will be abolished.

How many people can I meet outdoors?

As of Monday, 10 people from two different households can gather outside. As of November 2, the two-house rule will be scrapped but the 10-person cap will remain.

How many people can visit my home?

For now, Melburnians in single-person bubbles and intimate partners remain the only people who can visit someone else's home.

From November 2, Melbourne households can host up to two people (plus their children) once a day. All single-person bubble and exclusive arrangements will be scrapped.

What sports can I play?

Tennis, golf, bocce and skate parks are back from Monday under the new changes. Outdoor facilities will cap the numbers allowed to 10 at a time, unless groups can be kept at least 100 metres apart, such as at golf courses. Fitness and dance classes are still banned. Outdoor pools can now host up to 30 swimmers. One-on-one hydrotherapy sessions with health professionals will be allowed at indoor pools.

You cannot travel beyond 25 kilometres to exercise. Up to 10 people from two households can exercise together. A personal trainer can work with up to only two people outside.

From November 2, Melburnians aged under 18 can play contact sport. At the same time, adults can return to playing non-contact sports in greater numbers. Gyms will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Which tradespeople can come to my house?

Non-essential outdoor home maintenance such as pool maintenance and renovations such as house painting are back on, with up to five tradies allowed at your home. The fine print means they're not allowed to do any non-essential jobs inside your home.

Which medical professionals can I now see in person?

All allied health services can operate from Monday, including optometry, osteopathy and psychology. This means those who have been using telehealth services may return to face-to-face care if they choose.

Do we still have to wear masks?

Yes you do whenever you leave the house, unless you have an exemption. Premier Daniel Andrews is yet to announce a date for the relaxation of mask rules, but it won't be soon.

Can I get my hair cut?

Yes! Goodbye home haircuts, mullets and grey streaks. Hairdressers can reopen from Monday. Beauty and personal services must remain closed though until November 2, when people can book in for their long-awaited pedicures.

Can I sit in a restaurant or cafe?

Hospitality venues will be able to open from November 2. A maximum of 20 people will be allowed to sit indoors, while up to 50 could sit outdoors, subject to social distancing, council laws and density requirements. Group bookings will be capped at 10 people. Food courts will remain as takeaway and delivery services only.

When can I go clothes shopping in person?

From November 2, stores will be back open for in-store shopping, with density and social-distancing restrictions.

What are the rules on weddings, funerals and religious gatherings?

From November 2, up to 10 people will be able to attend weddings and up to 20 mourners will be allowed to attend funerals. Outdoor religious gatherings will also increase to 20 people.

Can I go to a house auction?

Yes, put in your bids – but only 10 people can attend, so spectators will be moved on. Commercial real estate inspections will also begin.

Can I get my car washed and my pet groomed?

Solo and automatic car washes return to business from Monday. Those operating mobile pet grooming businesses can reopen.

What can I do for fun?

No official, organised outdoor entertainment will be allowed in Melbourne until November 2, when big outdoor venues with no seating – such as Melbourne Zoo – can reopen. Outdoor seated entertainment will also return then with a cap of 50 people or 25 per cent of the venue’s fixed-seat capacity. It is still unclear what this means for watching sports such as, say, a horse race on the first Tuesday in November.

When can I visit my second property in regional Victoria for maintenance?

Melburnians who own a property in regional or rural Victoria will be able to travel to these from Wednesday this week, but only for flood or fire preparation. Property owners will need to get a letter from their local councils which will have instructions from police and the Chief Health Officer. The restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne, though, travel with you, so no meal allowed at the local pub and no visiting the neighbours.

When can Melburnians travel to regional Victoria?

There will be no changes to the “ring of steel” in the coming weeks. In fact, the borders surrounding metropolitan Melbourne will be bolstered with more checkpoints and more cars checked.

When can I return to working from my office?

Those who can work from home must still work from home and those who have to work outside the home will still need worker permits.

Can I go to an AFL party or watch the game over a BBQ with friends?

No. Friends and family are not allowed to your house to watch the match as Richmond and Geelong battle it out for the top spot.

What do the new changes mean for those living in regional Victoria?

From October 19 :

  • As many different families as you like can visit your home but only two adults and two dependants per day.
  • Hospitality venues can increase their capacity to 70 people sitting outside and 40 people sitting inside.
  • Outdoor religious gatherings can rise to 20 people.
  • Libraries and toy libraries will reopen with group limits.
  • Households can visit aged care facilities.

From November 2:

  • Victorians under 18 can go back to non-contact indoor sport, including dance classes, with a maximum of 20 people, and minors can also return to indoor swimming pools.

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