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A girl wearing a mask sitting on a picnic blanket in a park
Photograph: Gustavo Fring on Pexels

Melbourne’s curfew lifts, hiking and fishing allowed within 5km of your home

Metro Melbourne moves to step two from midnight tonight: here’s what that means

By
Rebecca Russo
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Premier Dan Andrews has today announced some changes to metro Melbourne’s switch to step two at midnight tonight. These are “safe and steady steps” which move as a direct result of the low case numbers metro Melbourne has seen over the last fortnight. 

From tonight, metropolitan Melbourne will be moving to step two in Victoria’s roadmap to a “Covid normal”. In his press conference today, Andrews said that “we are ahead of schedule” and has made some small changes.

From 11.59pm tonight, Sunday September 27:

  • 127,000 workers from certain industries will be heading back to work under a Covid-safe plan.
  • VCE and VCAL students will return from October 5. Prep to grade 6 will return to school on October 12. It’s likely there will be a staggered return to school, so that not all students will return on one day. 
  • Childcare opens for all children and the 5km limit does not apply for childcare. One childminder or babysitter will be allowed in each home, “if that is the arrangement that best suits your circumstances.”
  • Outside gatherings can increase from two people to a maximum of five people. These five people must come from a maximum of two households. 
  • The limit on one person from one household going shopping once a day has been lifted. Andrews noted that this “is not an invitation for an entire family group to go to the supermarket.” 
  • Outdoor exercise without accessing a facility (including hiking or fishing) is allowed within 5km of your home, and with the two-hour exercise limit in place. 
  • For permitted workers, exercise can be done within 5km of your workplace. You should keep your permit with you while exercising. 
  • Outdoor pools can reopen. 
  • Melbourne’s curfew will be lifted from 5am, Monday September 28.

For more details, visit the road to recovery website.

The news comes after Victoria announced 16 new cases overnight and a current 14-day rolling average of 22.1 cases in metropolitan Melbourne. Currently, there are 399 active cases in Victoria. It is the first time we’ve had less than 400 active cases since June 30. 

Because Melbourne is in a better position than was expected, Andrews believes metro Melbourne will be able to move to step three on October 19. This is one week earlier than laid out in the initial roadmap. If metro Melbourne maintains its low case numbers over the next three weeks, Andrews says we will be in a better position to discuss moving to step four, which includes hospitality and retail reopening. “This is a strategy designed to get us to a Covid normal Christmas,” said Andrews.

There have been 10,680 test results since Andrews’ last update. If you have symptoms, even the mildest of symptoms, please come forward and get tested. Here is a comprehensive list of testing places across Melbourne

Know the rules: Here's what you can and can't do in Victoria right now

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