Victoria will finally ease some of its indoor mask requirements from tomorrow night, as part of a raft of further eased restrictions announced by Premier Dan Andrews a short time ago.
While Sydney’s on-going lockdown is now set to be extended, Victoria continues its slowly-slowly approach to emerging from lockdown conditions that were initially put in place back in late May.
Andrews confirmed that, as of 11:59pm Thursday night, indoor face mask mandates will be eased in some professional workplace settings.
While the broad advice is still that masks in indoor spaces are mandatory, they will no longer be required in schools, or in “workplaces that are not public facing,” referring largely to private offices.
That opens the door for scores of Melburnians to return to in-person work, with the mask mandate said to have discouraged large tracts of office workers from returning to the workplace. However, it does mean that Melburnians will be required to wear face masks in all retail settings for at least a little while longer.
One of the larger other restrictions to be eased from tomorrow night involves hospitality and indoor venues, including pubs, clubs, and associated music venues.
Pubs and bars will be permitted a density quota of one person per two square metres, but only if a “COVID Check-In Marshal” is present. Otherwise, the previous one person per four square metre rule applies.
Those same restrictions will also apply to indoor non-seated venues (ie. live music venues and theatres) with a maximum cap of 300 patrons. That still represents a significant restriction on the struggling live music industry, which has been hammered from pillar to post by on-going and rather punitive capacity restrictions.
Dancefloors are also back on the table for Melburnians with various moves that require busting, with a capacity of 50 permitted from tomorrow night.
And in good news for those of you angling to do your drinking in a less supine position, Health Minister Martin Foley has flagged that the famed “vertical consumption” of drinks is back as part of the eased restrictions.
The new density limits and COVID Check-In Marshal requirements also applies to gyms, in slightly better news for the athletically inclined.
Presumably, however, the indoor face mask requirements do still apply to hospitality venues and associated indoor settings due to their public facing nature. Though exact clarification on that was a bit unclear.
Dan Andrews revealed the full list of additional eased restrictions on social media, which can be viewed below.
Restrictions are changing from 11:59pm on Thursday 8 July.
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) July 7, 2021
The current restrictions on private gatherings – which is limited to 15 for gatherings at the home, and 50 for outdoor gatherings – is not changing at this stage.
Full information on the current levels of restriction in Melbourne and Victoria can be found via the State Government’s coronavirus portal.