Sadly after Victoria’s 61-day streak of no locally transmitted cases, six new positive COVID cases have been recorded. That means as of 5pm tonight (December 31), Victorians will cop stricter restrictions for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
In a press conference on Thursday morning, Victorian Acting Premier Jacinta Allan announced the new restrictions, which unfortunately changes NYE plans for many across the state.
So here’s what you need to know ahead of celebrations tonight.
Do you need to wear a mask?
Yes, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) says masks are mandatory indoors. That means if you’re planning to leave your home take a mask.
Indoors includes; a friend’s home, your home (among guests), restaurants, bars, cafes, supermarkets, the bottle-o, basically anywhere under a roof.
But of course, if you’re eating or drinking you don’t need to wear a mask.
— LadyLovelyLumps (@chemu1819) December 30, 2020
How many mates can you have over for NYE parties now?
As of 5pm tonight, you can only have 15 people over to your house. The previous limit was 30 people.
Unfortunately that means that if you had party plans for 30 people, you’re going to have to play favourites or can the whole thing altogether.
— riley ???? (@plantcutting) December 30, 2020
How many people can gather in public?
In line with the COVIDsafe summer restrictions, you can have up to 100 people meeting outdoors in a public place. The NYE restrictions only apply to homes at this stage.
What about bookings? Can you still go?
Yes, if you have a New Year’s Eve booking you can still go. However, you will need to bring a mask with you and wear it inside.
What happens if I’ve been to any of the exposure sites, can I still go out?
No, not unless you’ve been tested and have already returned a negative test.
You can find an updated list of the exposure sites at the DHHS website here.
Exposure site: Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock on 21 December 2020.
Anyone who attended the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant on the evening of 21 December 2020 is asked to seek testing, to quarantine at home and contact the department.
— VicGovDHHS (@VicGovDHHS) December 31, 2020
Are the fireworks still happening?
No, the fireworks were cancelled months ago. However the City of Melbourne have organised a series of New Year Street Feasts, so you can eat and forget the shit-show that was 2020.
Can I still go into the CBD for NYE then?
No, not unless you already have a booking somewhere.
Do the new rules apply to regional Victoria?
Yes, these new restrictions apply to all of Victoria, not just metropolitan Melbourne.
Can I kiss a rando at midnight?
Absolutely not, unless it’s your immediate family. And I think most would rather pass on that too.Image: Getty Images / Nigel Killeen