Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions are easing again. Here’s what it means for your weekend and beyond – ABC News

by health and nutrition advice journalist

From 6:00pm tonight, Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions will drop back to their most relaxed in more than a year.

You won’t need to wear a mask in the shops, more people can get on the dance floor, and you and 199 of your closest mates can meet outdoors.

Here’s what it all means for your weekend and beyond.

Have 100 friends? You’re in luck

Top down shot of four toasting alcoholic drinks above a dinner table to illustrate dinner party.

Pexels: Rawpixel, file photo

In good news for big families and those with lots of friends, up to 100 people can visit your home in a day. That’s more than triple the cap of 30 that’s been in place.

So unless you’re very popular, that means no more awkward conversations about who makes the cut for your backyard barbecue.

Those 100 people can be from any number of households, and can all arrive at once or visit separately. The same rules apply to tourism accommodation or weddings and funerals being held at the home.

A group of people stand on a sunny day in Melbourne's Federation Square.

And if you have more than 100 friends, don’t worry. If you’re gathering in a public place, like a park, the cap is doubled to 200 people.

It’s recommended that you keep a record of the places you visit or the people you have around to your home for contact tracing purposes.

Children under the age of 12 months are not counted in the caps.

And the usual recommendations on hand hygiene and physical distancing remain.

More of you are allowed on dance floors

People raise their fists in a nightclub.

Unsplash: Axville, file photo

For nightclubs, live music spots, galleries and other “indoor non-seated entertainment venues”, the patron cap has been lifted to 75 per cent of capacity.

There’s still a limit of one person per 2 square metres, and a maximum capacity of 1,000 people per venue.

And a cap that limited dance floors to 50 people has been lifted, meaning more Victorians are able to show off their moves.

For all hospitality venues, there’s a density quotient of one person per 2 square metres, and there’s no requirement for seated service. Those rules are already in place for cafes, restaurants and pubs.

New rules on record-keeping announced on Tuesday, requiring businesses to use the Services Victoria app or feed back the data to the government’s contact tracing system, will be in place across most settings.

Footy crowds are boosted, more people allowed in gyms

Lots of people back the MCG in the background as Jordan De Goey attempts to take a mark during an AFL game.

AAP: Daniel Pockett

The crowds at major sporting events are being boosted to 75 per cent of stadium capacity.

The new crowd limits will allow up to 75,000 people at the MCG, 43,000 at Marvel Stadium and 22,000 at AAMI Park.

This rule came into effect a day early, allowing larger crowds for the clash between Collingwood and Carlton on Thursday night.

A woman holding weights in a busy gym.

ABC News, file photo

As for community sport, the one person per 2 square metre rule is in place both indoors and outdoors.

Gyms need to follow the 2 square metre rule and have COVID marshals when they’re staffed. When no staff are there, that density limit drops to one person per 4 square metres.

Pools and saunas follow the same 2 square metre rule, except if they’re keeping records manually, when it grows to one person per 4 square metres.

There are specific rules the venues must follow about record-keeping and sanitation.

Masks are no longer mandatory at the shops

Get used to seeing the bottom half of people’s faces again.

In the most dramatic relaxation of mask rules since they were introduced, face coverings will now only need to be worn on public transport, in taxis and rideshare cars and when visiting hospitals and care facilities.

Commuters wear face masks as they walk off a Melbourne tram on a sunny day.

ABC News: Ron Ekkel

A mask must be carried at all times, but they’re no longer required in retail settings.

Masks are an effective tool of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses, so they’re still recommended, even if they’re not mandatory.

“If you’re in indoor settings, if you’re in very close proximity to individuals, you really should consider wearing a mask,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Tuesday.

The rules change from 6:00pm on Friday, but we’re likely to see the full effects of the new settings from Monday.

The government has also announced employers will “no longer be required to permit workers to work from home”.

That means many bosses will be able to compel their employees to return to the office.

Public servants will also be asked to return to the office at least three days a week.

Acting Premier James Merlino says that will mean up to 90,000 shifts of Victorian public service workers will be brought to the CBD.

What you need to know about coronavirus:

This content was originally published here.

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