Melbourne’s lockdown has been extended for another seven days, with a few small changes. Here’s what we know.

The lockdown was meant to end tomorrow night, but that won’t be happening. Instead, from 11.59pm there will still only be five reasons to leave the home: Shopping for food and supplies, authorised work and study, care and care giving, exercise and getting vaccinated.

However, the 5km limit for exercise and shopping has been extended to 10km.

“We have right now 60 cases and over 350 exposure sites and a variant of the virus that is quicker and more contagious than we have ever seen before,” Acting Premier James Merlino said.

“The best way to stop this virus is via vaccination, but as we know, only 2% of our population is fully vaccinated.

“If we let this thing run its course, it will explode. We’ve got to run this to ground because if we don’t, people will die. And if that happens, it’s our most vulnerable – it’s our parents, it’s our grandparents, it’s Victorians with underlying conditions or compromised immunity, it is those Victorian whose will pay the price. In the end, this is about saving lives.”

What’s new after Thursday 11.59pm?

  • The 5km limit for shopping and exercise has been expanded to 10km.
  • Students in Year 11 and 12 will return to face-to-face learning (including students in other years who are undertaking a Unit 3.4 VCE subject).
  • Some outdoor jobs – including landscaping, painting, installing solar panels and letterboxing – have been added to the authorised lift.

What’s staying the same?

  • The five reasons to leave your house: Shopping for food and supplies, authorised work and study, care and care giving, exercise and getting vaccinated.
  • Face masks – they’re still required when you leave the home (for anyone aged 12 and older)

Is the lockdown lifting in seven days?

The government is expecting to be in a position to “carefully ease restrictions”, but as we’ve already seen, this situation is constantly evolving.

“I want to be up-front with people that even if all goes well, we won’t be able to have people from Melbourne travelling to regional Victoria during the Queen’s birthday long weekend,” Merlino said.

What about regional Victoria?

Restrictions for regional Victoria are easing, so there’s some good news. The five reasons to leave home are lifting at 11.59pm tomorrow night.

You must have a permitted reason to travel to Melbourne, though, and if you go to Melbourne then you need to follow their lockdown rules.

  • Outdoor gatherings can occur with up to 10 people
  • Venues can reopen for seated service, with up to 50 people per venue (subject to the four square metre rule)
  • Retail can open
  • Beauty and personal services can reopen (where masks can remain on)
  • Religious gatherings and ceremonies are permitted for up to 50 people, indoors or outdoors
  • Weddings can have 10 people
  • Funerals can have 50 mourners

For more info, check out the Victorian Government website.