Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announces major overhaul to COVID rules for Christmas

A bevy of coronavirus restrictions in Victoria has been rolled back by premier Daniel Andrews in anticipation of a COVID-safe summer.

Mask rules and density limits will be eased for Christmas and workers will begin returning to the office from Sunday.

“Today marks 37 days without a coronavirus case anywhere in our state. This is a remarkable achievement,” Andrews said.

“It is something that every Victorian owns, it is something that every Victorian has built.

“But like most incredibly valuable things, this place is precious and it is fragile. And while today we can take some big steps, not to normal, but to a COVID-safe summer, we all need to remain vigilant and we all need to play our part.”

From 11.59pm on Sunday, masks will only be required in certain situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

That includes on public transport, in rideshare vehicles and taxis and in some retail settings including shopping centres, supermarkets, department stores and indoor markets.

Andrews said every Victorian must continue to carry a mask with them at all times in case physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Victorians will be able to host 30 people in their homes and outdoor gatherings will increase to 100.

In terms of in-home visits, Andrews said visitors can come from multiple households.

However, it is capped at 30 visitors across the day, meaning Victorians cannot have 30 people over for lunch and another 30 for dinner.

Hospitality, retail and beauty services.
For hospitality venues, the four square metre density rule has been cut to two square metre restrictions, effectively doubling capacity.

Standing service will be allowed, meaning Victorians can get on the beers on their feet again.

QR code record-keeping will be mandatory.For retail and beauty services, business will also move to the one person per two square metres rule.

Face masks are no longer required but remain recommended – with Andrews saying he anticipated many workers would continue to use them.

Nightclubs can also reopen with dancefloors able to host 50 people with a one person per four square metre density rule applicable.

Standing service will also be allowed in those venues.

The same new density limits will also apply for community facilities, like libraries, RSLs, and community halls.

Religious gatherings, weddings and funerals
Religious gatherings, funerals and weddings will also be uncapped and instead restriction to one person per two square metres.

Wedding attendees will be allowed to dance with dancefloors allowed to host up to 50 people with a density of one person per four square metres.

All of the changes will be reviewed at the end of January