Updated May 11, 2020
Are you confused about Victoria's current restrictions? You’re not alone. Ever since we wrote about the 15 things you might not know about Victoria’s ‘stay at home’ restrictions, we’ve been getting comments and emails from confused Melburnians asking for clarification.
On May 11, Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services released updates on the gradual easing of restrictions, which gives Victorians some clarity about the current situation. We’ve combed through it to offer some insight on what you can and can’t do in Victoria right now.
Do I have to stay at home?
YES. Please, stay at home. All Victorians need to limit their interactions with others. It's important to continue to restrict the number of times you leave your house in general.
Legally, when can I leave my house?
UPDATE 11/05/2020: From 11.59pm on Tuesday, May 11, Victorians will be able to have five guests in their home. This will be the fifth allowed reason to leave one's home, alongside the four main reasons (to seek medical help, to go to work, to get your daily exercise or to go and buy grocery necessities).
For more clarity, you can now leave your house:
- To get food or drink
- To seek medical help
- To obtain necessary goods or services provided by a financial institution, a government body, a post office, a pharmacy, a hardware store, a petrol station, a pet store or vet, a retail facility that isn’t prohibited from operating currently (prime minister Scott Morrison explained that the reason some shops are open now are so people can gather essential items before further shutdown measures)
- To go to work (whether paid or voluntary) or school/university if it’s not possible for them to work from home.
- To visit someone socially – Victorians can have five guests in their homes, but overnight visits are not allowed. More information here.
- To drop your children or partner off at said work or school/university institution
- To visit or drop off your child as part of an already determined parental or shared custody arrangement
- To help care for a relative or another person who has a chronic health condition, disability, illness or other particular need
- To visit a hospital or aged care facility if your attendance is approved
- To attend a funeral or wedding (with a limit of 20 and ten people, respectively)
- To donate blood
- For your own safety. The document states this as “escape harm or the risk of harm, including harm relating to family violence or violence of another person at the premises.”
- To exercise. If doing so, you must maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other people. (More info on who you can exercise with below)
- For emergency purposes
- To go to the police station, court or any other purpose relating to the law or justice system
- To move house
- To move between two houses that you ordinarily live between (say if you live in Melbourne for work purposes Monday to Friday, but spend weekends in Geelong).
For more clarification on these points, please head to the DHHS website here.
Can I visit my girlfriend/boyfriend/partner who lives in another house?
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."
Can I still move house?
Yes. Many moving companies are continuing to operate, but reach out on a case-by-case basis.
If something breaks in my home, how do I get it fixed?
Don’t worry – plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other skilled contractors are considered essential services. Bunnings and other home improvement stores are still open, too.
Can I exercise with my friend?
You are allowed to leave your house to exercise. You are also allowed to exercise with people that live with you and with up to ten people that you don’t live with. So yes, you can go for a walk with another person for the purpose of exercise. But please – again – don’t get close, be mindful of others and keep moving.
Can I go for an outdoor hike?
Yes. As of May 13, you are allowed to go for an outdoor hike with up to ten people. Read more here.
Can I go fishing or golfing?
Yes. Premier Andrews announced that from May 13, Victorians will be able to go fishing, golfing and more in groups of under ten. What exactly has been determined as "outdoor recreational activities" hasn't been determined yet, but the premier did say you can go for a kick with some friends – but only if you practice physical distancing while doing so. So think of these as non-contact sports!
Can I go camping or stay at an Airbnb?
No. The easing in rules surrounding outdoor recreational activities is only for daytime activities – so you aren’t allowed to go camping or stay overnight at another location.
Can I go for a drive and not get out of the car?
Under the new directions as of May 13 you are able to go for a drive. Practice driving for learners as well as driving lessons are also allowed. However, Victorians are being asked to use common sense when it comes to travelling so if you can walk or exercise near your home, you should. Check back with the DHHS' gradual easing of restrictions page for more clarification on what we’ve written here.
Can I have a picnic?
Yes! You are allowed to relax at the park, have a picnic or play non-contact sports there. Be sure to keep at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and other people at all times and remember to stick to groups of under ten (including kids). Playgrounds, outdoor communal gym equipment and skate parks are still closed.
Can I visit my family?
Yes. As of May 13, Victorians will be able to have five guests in their homes. Premier Andrews urged that you use common sense when doing so though because "this is far from over". Chief health officer Brett Sutton also said "no handshakes, no hugs and kisses" when speaking of visiting loved ones.
Also, we get it. These restrictions feel overwhelming and, well, restrictive. But it’s important to remember why we’re doing this – for the safety of vulnerable people and our wider community. All of these restrictions have been made under the advice of Victorian health experts to prevent more people from getting sick and overloading our hospitals. We have to work together. Lives depend on it.Share the story