The eased restrictions will allow for more visitors in the home, reduced mask wearing and increased number of workers heading back to the office.
From 11.59pm on Friday, 26 February, masks will be only be required on public transport, in rideshare vehicles and taxis, in sensitive settings such as aged care facilities, and in some larger retail settings including indoor shopping centres, supermarkets, department stores and indoor markets.
While masks are no longer mandated in most circumstances, the Victorian government has continued to recommend masks indoors or outdoors when distancing can’t be maintained.
Victorians will be able to host up to 30 people in their home per day, while outdoor gatherings in public places, such as the beach and the park, can increase to 100 people.
The planned increase for office workers to return to work can go ahead at 75 per cent across both public and private sectors, meaning most workers can return to the office from Monday, 1 March.
Density limits in pubs, restaurants and cafés will remain at one person per 2 square metres for both indoors and outdoors, with no other cap so long as electronic record keeping, such as a QR code, is used.
For small operations, there’ll be no density limits if the patron number is under 25 and they will still be required to keep records.
For beauty services, businesses remain at one person per 2 sq m if they also introduce electronic record keeping. For businesses where that’s not possible, density limits of one person per 4 sq m will apply.
Retail businesses will also remain at one person per 2 sq m and electronic record keeping is recommended where practical.
Funerals and weddings are subject to a density limit of one person per 2 sq m. The same rule applies to nightclubs and our community facilities, like libraries, RSLs and community halls.
In gyms, the density limit remains one per 4 sq m, with exercise classes limited to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.
However, the State of Emergency will be extended to 11.59pm, 15 March 2021, something the Victorian government said needs to be declared so the Chief Health Officer can issue directions to respond to the pandemic and keep Victorians safe.
“I want to thank every Victorian for making today’s announcement possible — and I want to thank every Victorian for their patience,” said Victorian Premier Dan Andrews.
“It’s been a hard slog, but Victorians are doing what they do best as we work to beat this virus: staying the course and looking out for each other.”