Australia Melburnians STILL won't be able to take masks off to drink alcohol
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Melburnians will still have to abide by a bizarre rule which stops them from removing their masks to drinkoutside as Daniel Andrews slightly eases restrictions in the long-suffering city.
A string of changes to the current rules were announced on Thursday and will apply to residents living inand Ballarat, which are both under .
The rules which will come into effect from 11:59pm on Friday include allowing five fully-vaccinated people from a maximum of two households to have small social gatherings outdoors.
The travel radius will increase from 5km to 10km and there will be a re-opening of outdoor gyms and skate parks.
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However, despite being able to picnic in groups, residents keen to have a beer with their mates will still be banned from taking their masks off to drink alcohol.
Masks are mandatory both indoors and outdoors, except for at houses, with residents only allowed to remove them to eat and drink non-alcoholic beverages.
The unusual rule was first introduced a month ago following a 'pub crawl' in Melbourne where residents were seen drinking take-away alcohol in large groups on the streets.
'There will be no removal of masks to consume alcohol outdoors,' Mr Andrews said at the time.
'You will no longer be able to remove your mask to drink a cocktail at a pop-up beer garden on a footpath as part of a pub crawl.'
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Mr Andrews on Thursday revealed that Melburnians will also be able to exercise outside for four hours per day; a doubling of the existing limit. Two people will be allowed to train outdoors with a personal trainer.
Mandatory vaccinations will be introduced for anyone working on construction sites - with the deadline for one jab being next Friday - as the state looks to send tradies back to work.
MELBOURNE'S NEW RULES FROM 11.59PM ON FRIDAY
Child-minding centres will also reopen for school-aged children if only one parent is an authorised worker.
In regional Victoria, gyms and pools, both outdoor and indoor, will reopen under the one person per four square metre rule.
The 9pm-5am curfew in Melbourne will remain.
The measures were promised by Mr Andrews two weeks ago as a reward for the state reaching 70 per cent first-dose vaccination rates, but he has added the outdoor picnics as a bonus, following the lead from New South Wales.
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The restored freedoms come despite Victoria recording 514 new Covid cases on Thursday - the most since August 5 last year.
Mr Andrews said the new allowances, particularly outdoor gatherings, require a significant amount of 'good faith' from Victorians.
'We are not going to have police in every park. We're not going to have police out there requiring people to prove that they have been vaccinated,' he said.
'We can't have a situation where we are going park by park, picnic by picnic. That's not an invitation to break the rules.
'There's a degree of good faith in this. I'm asking people to do the right thing, if people do the right thing then we'll be out of lockdown sooner.
'If people ignore these rules it will mean more cases, more people in hospital and it will mean we're locked down longer.'
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