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Mask and festive relief

Mask and festive relief

Eased restrictions include masks and Christmas gatherings

Families will be reunited for Christmas - and masks won't be required outdoors - with the Premier revealing the next easing in restrictions.

Victoria has recorded its 23rd consecutive day of no new coronavirus cases or deaths - with just one active case remaining in the state.

From midnight tonight, people will be allowed to have 15 visitors to their homes across one day.

Premier Daniel Andrews says that number will double to 30 visitors, from midnight December 13.

THE DETAILS:

From 11.59pm tonight, masks can be removed outdoors if safe distancing is possible.

"You’ll still need to wear [a mask] when you’re indoors and on public transport – and where you can’t keep your distance," Premier Andrews said.

"But if you’re outdoors and you can keep a safe distance, masks will no longer be mandatory.

"For example, you’ll still need to keep your mask on if you’re at a busy outdoor market – or in line for a snag at your local Bunnings.

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"If you’re headed for a quiet stroll around the neighbourhood, you won’t need to wear a mask – but you will need to carry one, in case the situation changes."

Also from tomorrow, the number of visitors to your home will increase from two to 15 per day.

"That can be split across different times – like ten for lunch, and five for dinner – as long as people are sticking to a total of 15 for the day.

"Outdoor gatherings in a public place – the park, the beach – will increase to 50."

Weddings can now increase to 150 people, as well as for funerals and religious ceremonies indoors.

Regarding hospitality: in smaller venues, the density limit will change to one person for every two square metres – up to 50 customers. QR code record keeping will be mandatory. For bigger venues, the density limit will stay the same, but the cap will increase to 150. Total venue capacity will also rise to 300.

Cinemas, galleries and museums will also be able to host up to 150 people indoors.

At community clubs, contact and non-contact sports can begin for adults as well as kids – 150 people indoors with a group size of up to 20, and 500 outdoors with groups of up to 50.

Organisers will also be able to apply to host a public event. Different requirements and rules will need to apply, depending on whether it’s a school fete or a major sporting match.

Regarding office work, a phased approach for staff heading back to the office will begin on 30 November, with up to 25 per cent of workers will be able to attend onsite.

"I want to be clear though – unless you’re one of those people nominated by your employer – you need to keep working from home," Premier Andrews said.

For those making plans for family gatherings at Christmas, you’ll be able to host up to 30 people in your home for Christmas Day. Babies under 12 months won’t count towards the cap.

This change will come into effect 14 December, just in time for catch-ups and Christmas barbies – and for our Jewish communities, the closing days of Hanukkah.

The Premier said he will have more to say about what a “COVIDSafe Summer” will look like in the next few weeks.

"For now, though, I want to thank Victorians," Premier Andrews said.

"Getting here was by no means guaranteed. But we did it. You did it.

"It’s been a long, hard winter.

"Now, it’s time to enjoy the sun."

LINK: DHHS CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

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