Stay-at-home restrictions that have been in effect in Victoria for the past eight weeks will soon be eased, premier Daniel Andrews announced at his May 11 morning media briefing.
From 11.59pm on Tuesday, May 12, Victorians will be able to have five guests in their homes. 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).
Andrews urged that “you should still stay at home unless you are going out for one of those five reasons". However, this was not an opportunity to have a dinner party every night, the premier said. “We have to use our common sense… We have to recognise that this is far from over,” said Andrews.
The premier also announced that from the same time, from 11.59pm on Tuesday, May 12, groups of ten could participate in outdoor activities. These include sport, hiking, fishing and playing golf, but you must exercise social distancing measures while doing so. Further advice on this will be provided in due course.
On work, the premier said that if you could work from home you must work from home until the end of May. Planning for AFL, NRL and other sport training will resume as well, which will pave the way for these sports to return at some point.
“These are small steps – significant steps, though… you only get one chance to get this right,” said Andrews.
In regards to the return of cafés and restaurants, Andrews said: “Following more testing, following the experience of these three and a half weeks, that will guide us – and we will have more to say at that time about cafés, restaurants and a whole range of other issues.”
Increased testing is still top of mind for the Victorian government and is a key stepping stone towards easing lockdown restrictions. Today, the premier announced a new “outbreak unit” that falls with the Department of Health and Human Services’ public health team. This unit will include new “rapid response” squads, who will make sure appropriate testing, contact tracing and deep cleaning is conducted if a cluster is identified.
The state government is also aiming for another 150,000 tests be completed by the end of May, which is on top of the 161,000 tests that have happened in the past fortnight. Here’s where to get a test right now in Victoria.