It’s September 14, which means Melbourne’s Stage 4 coronavirus restrictions have undergone some minor tweaks.

It may be a while before life in the Victorian capital approaches anything approaching normalcy, but here’s an extremely brief reminder of today’s changes.

The ‘social bubble’

People who live alone, plus single parents to children under 18, are now permitted to invite one person into their ‘single social bubble’.

If you’re in one of those categories, you can now nominate exactly one mate to swing by your place. That individual will remain your bubble buddy during the so-called ‘First’ and ‘Second’ steps to normality. 

You will also be able to visit them, provided they are the only adult at home at that time. Don’t expect to hang out with your nominated mate and their whole sharehouse crew concurrently.

They also have to live in metropolitan Melbourne, meaning your pals in Geelong or Bendigo won’t be able to swing by.

The move is intended to aid the mental health of those of us who live alone, but other health concerns come into play. The Victorian Government has advised that both parties entering a social bubble must wear face coverings during visits.

Exercise and recreation

From today, you will be allowed to exercise outside for two hours, up from one. You can work out in up to two sessions.

Most notably, you can also choose to use that outside time for explicitly social gatherings with one other person, or the members of your household. This covers things like sitting on a park bench to have a chat. How lovely.

Still, you’ll only be allowed to travel 5km from your home to do so.

In a win for young families and adults who just really love swing sets, outdoor playgrounds will also reopen.

The curfew

This one is pretty simple: the nightly curfew will relax by one hour tonight, meaning you can leave the home for one of the four permitted reasons until 9pm.

The curfew kicks back in at 5am.

You’re still allowed to leave the home between those hours for permitted work, the provision of medical care and caregiving, and in the case of an emergency.

Note: the whole 5km-from-home thing still applies here, too.

Further changes are currently slated for September 28, at the very earliest.

These changes only cover metropolitan Melbourne, with regional Victoria leapfrogging straight to the so-called ‘Second Step’. You can cop more information about that here.

Image: Daniel Pockett / Getty Images