Australia Melbourne's coronavirus restrictions have changed again. We've answered some of your questions about what's new

01:26  20 october  2020
01:26  20 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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It's been hard to keep up with all of the changes in Victoria's restrictions over the past few months and on Sunday they changed again.

So we've tried to answer some of the questions you may have about what's new, what's changed and how it will affect you and your family.

Can I watch the AFL grand final with friends or at the pub?

The answer to this one is different for a Tigers fan in Richmond and a Cats fan in Geelong.

In regional Victoria — Geelong included — you can watch the grand final at the pub with a mate, or even a group of mates.

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But there is a cap of 40 people indoors and 70 outdoors, subject to density limits. So you may need to book ahead.

You can also invite two friends into your home in regional Victoria, plus their dependents. Babies and other children aren't counted for the purpose of the cap.

But it's different in metropolitan Melbourne. Footy fans will have to watch the game at home with other members of their household.

"You cannot have friends over into your home," Premier Daniel Andrews said.

Pubs won't be open to patrons for the Grand Final weekend in Melbourne.

What about the Melbourne Cup?

In Melbourne, the State Government plans to have hospitality venues open in time for the Melbourne Cup.

Cafes, bars and restaurants are forecast to reopen on November 2, a day before the famous race, with a maximum of 20 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.

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Those venues could possibly also open earlier, if coronavirus targets are met this week.

In regional Victoria, pubs and restaurants will continue to trade at their current restriction level for Cup day.

As for the race itself, the arrangements for the track remain unclear.

Some racing connections may be allowed at the track from an employment point of view, Mr Andrews said.

He said Racing Minister Martin Pakula would make some announcements on that soon.

When will the 'ring of steel' around Melbourne be lifted?

Travel out of Melbourne into regional Victoria is still only allowed for "permitted purposes".

No-one's sure when this restriction will be lifted, but Mr Andrews wants more travel to be possible before Christmas.

In the meantime, there will be more vehicle checkpoints to ensure people don't go into regional Victoria without permission.

Mr Andrews said more ADF support would be coming to Victoria to help out with enforcement.

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When stay-at-home orders lift, can I go back to the office?

Nope. You're stuck at home for the immediate future.

"We will rely upon workers and employers to work with us on that," Mr Andrews said.

Even those who work in offices on their own have been told to keep working from home if they can. The Premier said the risks go beyond the office itself.

"Whether it is people congregating in stairwells, lift wells, tearooms, all of that sort of stuff, plus of course getting to and from work, public transport being crowded."

In regional Victoria, those who can work at home also must continue to do so.

What are the limits on exercise?

In Melbourne, The 2-hour limit on exercise has been dropped and you can exercise or socialise in a group of up to 10 people from two households in a public place.

The 5-kilometre travel bubble has been widened to 25km.

When the Premier was asked why 25km had been chosen as the most appropriate distance, he said he "made a call".

He said the idea was to keep people closer to home and limit large groups of people from congregating in popular leisure spots in metropolitan Melbourne, like the Dandenongs and the Mornington Peninsula.

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"I am sure some people wanted it to be 30 kilometres. Some might want it to be not changing at all. The moment it can be removed, it will be," the Premier said.

You can't travel to regional Victoria for exercise or recreation even if it's within your 25km radius.

Personal training is limited to the trainer and two others.

What about exercise limits in regional Victoria?

In regional Victoria you can exercise in groups of up to 10 people outdoors, unless all of the people are from the same household.

Outdoor non-contact sport is allowed with no shared equipment for adults, while contact sport is also allowed for those aged 18 and under.

Indoor community sport that is non-contact is allowed for those aged 18 and under and trampolining centres are also open, again for those aged 18 and under.

Personal trainers can lead groups of up to 10 people for an outdoor class and communal outdoor gym equipment is open.

Outdoor dance classes are allowed for classes of up to 10 adults, while indoor classes are open for students under the age of 18.

There's no word on when gyms will reopen in Melbourne or regional Victoria.

Outdoor pools are open with density limits, while indoor pools are open for people 18 and under, with a maximum of 20 swimmers.

Can I play golf or tennis?

In Melbourne, golf is back on the agenda, but probably only in pairs.

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There's no equipment hire allowed and no sharing of equipment, and the clubhouse will remain closed except for takeaway.

Skateparks are also open and after that, you can go knock off a few laps at the local outdoor swimming pool.

Bowling greens can also reopen.

But again, the rules are the same —there must be no equipment hire or sharing of equipment, and change rooms are off limits.

In regional Victoria golf clubs are open, with clubhouses able to seat up to 70 people outdoors with density rules and up to 40 people indoors with density requirements.

This is the same as hospitality rules for regional Victoria.

What's the deal with home maintenance and car repairs?

Car safety inspections, repairs or schedules servicing is allowed now in Melbourne.

Mechanics will be able to work without restrictions from November 2, like their regional counterparts now.

People who work in home and pool maintenance, painters and mobile pet groomers can return to work in Melbourne, and they may work in groups of up to five.

External car washing businesses can also reopen.

Outdoor professional photography, including school photos, can also resume.

Can I visit my family?

In regional Victoria, you can invite two people plus their dependents to your home, but can only have one group of guests to your house per day.

That rule will apply to Melbourne from November 2.

Until then, Melburnians can meet in groups of up to 10 people from two households in public outdoor spaces, within 25kms of their homes.

Families split across Melbourne and regional Victoria can not visit each other.

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What about weddings, funerals and church services?

In Melbourne, you can have up to 10 people at your outdoor wedding ceremony, not including the celebrant, from November 2.

That will match the restrictions in regional Victoria.

Religious services in Melbourne will be allowed for up to 20 people and a faith leader from November 2, while in regional Victoria that number will increase to 50.

On November 2, funerals in Melbourne will be allowed to have up to 20 mourners, excluding those under 12 months and people running the funeral, matching regional Victoria's rules.

I need to cut the grass at my holiday house. Is that OK?

People in regional Victoria can travel to their holiday homes in regional areas, but Melburnians can't.

Melbourne residents with holiday homes in regional areas will have to get a travel permit from the local council.

That gives them a 72-hour window to prepare their homes in fire or flood-prone areas.

Travelling to do that work should only be done as a "last resort" and if you do go, the Melbourne restrictions travel with you.

How long am I going to have to keep wearing masks?

Masks are here to stay because they make a difference, Mr Andrews said.

They're "low cost [and], high benefit" he said.

And while masks won't be around forever, they'll continue to be required as long as they produce a "significant dividend".

Can I get my haircut?

Yes! The mullet can finally go. Hairdressers are officially open for business.

But people in regional Victoria can only come to Melbourne for a haircut "if that is the closest provider of that service", the Premier said.

"We don't want people making unnecessary trips. If you can get it local, you should get it local," he said.

Beauty services, like manicures, pedicures, body waxing and tattooing are on hold until November 2 but are open in regional Victoria, for services that can be performed with masks on.

Can I auction my house or visit an open for inspection?

Outdoor auctions can go ahead with up to 10 people plus staff from the real estate agency, across the state.

Melbournians can now also go to pre-arranged property inspections with one agent and only the one client.

What about allied health?

Health Minister Martin Foley said some allied health professionals, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists and podiatrists, would be able to resume face-to-face routine care.

He said that was especially important for people with a range of disabilities or those undergoing rehabilitation.

Can I take a holiday in Melbourne?

From November 2, Melburnians can book accommodation within their restricted travel area. There are rules about who you can stay with: for example you can make a booking with a partner or someone you live with, plus two others.

Regional Victorians can already travel to other areas outside of Melbourne.

What happens next?

If case numbers over the next week remain low, restrictions could be eased even further as next week.

The Premier said he hoped if numbers remained low to be able to move measures scheduled for November 2 forward.

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