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Picnics are back: Melbourne will welcome new freedoms from this weekend

Melbourne now has a sixth reason to leave the house: outdoor social interaction

Rebecca Russo
Written by
Rebecca Russo

It’s looking like Victoria will hit its 70 per cent first dose vaccine threshold within the next 24 hours. So, as promised back in early September, Victorian premier Dan Andrews has announced a few modest changes to the current restrictions to those in metropolitan Melbourne and greater Ballarat.  

The five reasons to leave the home will remain. These are ​​to ​​get the food and supplies you need; to exercise; to receive care or for caregiving purposes; for authorised work or education; and to get vaccinated. However, from 11.59pm on Friday, September 17, there is now a sixth reason to leave your home: for outdoor social interaction.

Here's what's changing:

  • One person may meet another person from another household for a picnic, a walk or another outdoor activity, regardless of vaccination status;
  • Up to five adults (plus their dependents) from two households will be able to gather outdoors if all adults present have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine;
  • The time permitted to exercise (and for outdoor social interaction) will increase from two hours a day to four hours a day;
  • The distance you can leave your home for shopping (for necessary good and services), exercise and outdoor social interaction will increase from five kilometres to ten kilometres;
  • Two people can also train outdoors with a personal trainer; and
  • Skate parks and outdoor communal exercise equipment will reopen.

For the full list of rules, check with the government website

For regional Victoria (everwhere except greater Ballarat), there will be more changes to the current restrictions. Gyms and outdoor/indoor swimming pools (including spas, saunas and steam rooms) can reopen and hydrotherapy can swimming lessons can resume. Tour buses can operate with up to ten people. Naturally, there will be density quotients for all these locations. 

If you have any symptoms, please get tested immediately. Want to get vaccinated? Here’s where to book your shot. For more details on the rules, head to the government website.

Here’s how to book a Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine in Melbourne right now.

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