Victoria Cautiously Moves Forward

As announced on July 7th by the Minister for Health Martin Foley, COVID restrictions across Melbourne are easing, though we remain cautious of the risk that all of Australia is currently grappling with.

The last few weeks have demonstrated how delicate any gains made against coronavirus are. In the last two weeks, around 12 million Australians in four states and territories have been subject to lockdowns after the fast-moving Delta variant made its way into our communities. The efforts of Victorians helped drive simultaneous Delta and Kappa outbreaks down to zero in our own state, but the more precarious situations elsewhere are a reminder that we cannot afford to be complacent.

It is with pride that it is announced that our state is in a stable position – meaning we can ease restrictions.

With the slower than forecast rollout of the Commonwealth vaccination program, reduction in returning traveller caps not yet in effect across the country and outbreaks interstate continuing to pose a risk to Victoria, the advice from our public health experts is that we ease those restrictions carefully and cautiously.

From 11:59pm on Thursday 8 July, restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne will be brought into line with regional Victoria, which means all COVIDSafe settings will apply statewide.

  • Masks will continue to be required in indoor, public-facing settings unless an exemption applies, but they will no longer be required at schools for students and staff, or at your workplace if you don’t interact with the public – for example, if you work at an office or a factory.
  • A range of venues across Melbourne will now be able to apply the same density limits that apply in regional Victoria: one person per two square metres – including hospitality, gyms and physical recreation venues, community facilities, creative studios and places of worship – provided a COVID Check-in Marshal is on-site to make sure people are checking in.
  • Dancefloors will be allowed with a COVID Check-in Marshal, but no more than 50 people can be on the dance floor at any one time.
  • The limit on private gatherings will stay the same, with up to 15 people able to attend a home per day. Victorians need look no further than the outbreak north of our border to know the risks of spreading are at big gatherings inside the home.
  • Crowd numbers will increase at approved public events. Outdoor stadiums can welcome 75 per cent of their capacity, up to 40,000 people, and indoor stadiums can open to 75 per cent of their capacity, up to 7,500 people. Theatres will also open to 75 per cent of their capacity, up to 2,000 people.

These settings will be in place for 14 days, subject to assessment of epidemiological risks by our public health teams. Comprehensive information on all current settings can be found here .