COVID-19: Victoria’s latest coronavirus rules, explained
Masks no longer mandatory outdoors and up to 15 guests are allowed at home. Here's what you need to know about the latest COVID-19 rules and how to keep safe.
Victorians no longer need to wear masks at all times outdoors, and up to 15 visitors are allowed inside homes under the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions.
After more than three months of compulsory mask-wearing, Victorians can go without masks outside, as long as they can maintain social distancing of 1.5 metres. Masks must be carried at all times and worn indoors and on public transport.
A staggered return to workplaces, and a doubling in the number of visitors allowed at home, have been flagged in further steps before Christmas.
Patron limits have also been increased for hospitality venues, and more can attend weddings and funerals, cinemas, museums, libraries and gyms.
Read on for more details of the new rules, the next-step changes and frequently asked questions below.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to wear a face mask?
Face masks are no longer required outdoors, as long as you can maintain 1.5 metres’ social distance from others from outside your household, but suitable face coverings should be carried at all times. Masks must be worn indoors, including gyms and shopping centres, and on public transport. Anyone not complying with Victoria’s mask rules can be fined $200.
Acceptable coverings include surgical masks and cloth masks that cover the mouth and nose. Scarves, bandanas and face shields are no longer considered sufficient face coverings. Check out our ultimate guide to face masks for everything you need to know about how to wear and remove masks properly, as well as how to make your own.
Where can I travel within Victoria?
Both the 25-kilometre travel limit for Melburnians and the ‘ring of steel’ border between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria have been lifted, so all Victorians are free to travel anywhere in the state.
How many guests can I have at home and at public gatherings?
Victorians are allowed to have 15 visitors, including dependants, per day, either in one group or separate groups. It’s recommended that face masks are worn where social distancing can’t be maintained, and keeping a record of visitors is advised. Up to 50 people from any number of households can gather outdoors in a public place.
(From 13 December up to 30 visitors from any number of households can visit homes.)
Are guests allowed to stay overnight?
There are no limits on the how long someone can visit you at your home, so friends and family can stay overnight. But anyone who stays overnight is counted in the visitor cap on the day they stay, and the next day.
Can I go out for a meal or a drink?
Yes. Restaurants, cafes and pubs are allowed to serve food and drinks to seated patrons, who can take their masks off when seated and eating or drinking.
- Large venues (with floorspace of 200 square metres or bigger) are allowed up to 150 patrons indoors with no group limits at a density of one per four square metres.
- Smaller venues (up to 200 square metres) can host 50 indoors at a higher density of one per two square metres with no group limit, but must use QR codes to record patrons’ details.
- Up to 300 are allowed outdoors at any-sized venue, at one per two square metres and a total venue capacity of 300.
- Live music is allowed outdoors with the musicians included in the venue limit.
What retail shops are allowed to open?
All retail shops are allowed to open. Patrons of personal care salons can now remove masks where necessary.
Can I stay at paid accommodation?
Accommodation throughout the state, including, caravan parks and campgrounds with shared facilities, can open. It can be booked by one household and up to 15 others.
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What exercise can I do outside my home?
Indoor gyms and fitness studios are allowed to open for up to 150 patrons with a group limit of 20, with density limits. Outdoor pools can open for up to 300 people and indoor pools for up to 150, with density limits. Indoor physical recreation and community sport can resume with up to 150 patrons with a group limit of 20, subject to density limits. Personal training, fitness and dance classes are allowed outside for up to 10 people.
What about activities like golf and fishing?
Playing golf and going fishing, boating, surfing and diving are all allowed.
How many people can attend weddings, funerals and religious services?
Up to 150 people can attend a wedding or funeral indoors or outdoors, with a density limit of one per four square metres. Religious gatherings are allowed indoors for up to 150 people, or outdoors for up to 300, with no group limits but a density limit of one person per four square metres.
What about indoor entertainment venues like cinemas, museums and play centres?
Cinemas, theatres, small galleries and museums, and play centres can host up to 150 people per space, with density limits. Large theatres, museums and galleries like the NGV can open to 25 per cent of their capacity.
What about outdoor entertainment like stadiums, zoos and drive-in cinemas?
Outdoor seated venues like stadiums and arenas can open for up to 50 per cent of their capacity with a maximum of 500. Zoos and drive-in cinemas can open.
Are libraries and other community facilities allowed to open?
Libraries, toy libraries and community facilities like neighbourhood houses can open for up to 150 indoors and 300 outdoors with a group limit of 20, subject to density limits.
What are the new rules for visiting hospitals or care facilities?
There are no longer any restrictions on the purpose or number of visitors to hospitals or care facilities, and no time limits.
Are schools and childcare open?
Schools are open for all year levels, and grade 6 and year 12 graduations are permitted for students and staff only. Childcare and early education are open to all.
What about auctions?
Auctions are allowed outdoors for up to 50 people, or 20 indoors. Property inspections are allowed by appointment for up to 10 people from any number of households. Commercial real-estate inspections are permitted. (More: How to buy and sell property in a pandemic.)
- For more detail about all Victoria’s current rules go to the Department of Health and Human Services’ COVID-19 reopening road map page.
No matter where you live in Victoria, everyone has an important role to play in suppressing the spread of COVID-19. You can help keep yourself and others safe by:
- Maintaining 1.5 metres’ distance between yourself and people outside your immediate household.
- Wearing a mask if away from your home and indoors or on public transport. This is mandatory for all Victorians aged 12 or over. You don’t need to wear a mask if outdoors and able to maintain social distance.
- Washing or sanitising your hands thoroughly and often especially after using the bathroom, before eating and after coughing or sneezing.
- Avoiding coughing or sneezing into your hands. Use the crook of your elbow or tissue, and dispose of the tissue as soon as possible before washing your hands.
- Getting a COVID-19 test immediately if you experience even mild symptoms, such as a sore throat, runny nose, cough or fever, then staying at home until receiving a negative result.