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Couples who don't live together CAN visit each other under latest 'stay at home' rules

Written by
Time Out editors

When stricter social restrictions were introduced by the prime minister on Sunday, March 29, four reasons were outlined as justifiable causes for a person to leave their home: for food and supplies; medical care and care giving; exercise; and for work or education (if you cannot do so at home).

This was followed up by Victorian officials on March 30 with a more detailed FAQ of what you can and can't do, after it had become apparent that certain grey areas in the original rules had led to widespread confusion. However, despite these efforts, many people have remained unclear on whether specific activities are still permitted.

One of the biggest questions has been: is it OK to visit your significant other? Good news for all you lovers, as Victoria's chief health officer, professor Brett Sutton, has now clarified that they will be making an exception to the 'stay at home' rules for couples who don't live together. 

This is a significant backflip on what was previously laid out by Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services and Victorian police minister Lisa Neville who tweeted yesterday that "you cannot visit your partner for social reasons."

Thankfully, the DHHS is now reporting that it is OK to visit your partner who lives separately to you. It now says on the DHHS frequently asked questions page that, "while the Stay at Home direction requires people to limit their social interaction, particularly social visits to people’s houses, partners living separately are able to visit each other at home. The direction will be reissued shortly to expressly provide for that exception."

However, this does not mean you can enjoy lying on the beach or an intimate picnic in the park. Even if you’re with a partner, restrictions on acceptable activities in public still apply: you can exercise together, walk to the supermarket together, or take a trip to the doctors' office. Beyond that, time with bae must remain behind closed doors.

Do you have more questions about Melbourne's shutdown restrictions? Check out our FAQ breakdown.

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