Victoria lockdown restrictions ease at 11.59pm

The long-awaited changes to coronavirus restrictions throughout the state have been outlined by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Melbourne people will be able to leave their homes for more than two hours — up to 25 km — for the first time in more than 100 days.

From 11.59pm on Sunday, time limits for exercise and social events will be abolished.

In groups of up to 10 (from two households), metropolitan residents will be able to meet outside and travel limits will range from 5 km to 25 km. Masks will remain mandatory and the notorious golf ban will be lifted, but club rooms will not be approved for patrons to visit.

The green light to reopen was also provided to tennis clubs, skate parks, hairdressers and the real estate industry.

Up to 30 swimmers may be hosted by outdoor pools.

A larger range of reforms will come into play from November 1, including the reopening of retail and hospitality and the scrapping of the four reasons for leaving home, while Mr Andrews promised it would be sooner.

“If through the course of this week we see further low numbers and a sense of certainty in the stories and circumstances that sit behind each of those case numbers, there is an opportunity that we could bring forward the things that are scheduled for the first of November,” he said.

“Not so long ago we had 725 cases and there was simply no way we could have a debate, a perfectly legitimate debate about how to open, went to open, how to do that. It was not an option available to any of us.

“But Victorians, in every community, from every background, every circumstance, have stayed the course and we just have a little longer to go, just a little longer to go in order to see off the second wave, defeat the second wave, and then to find the normal and to begin the process of rebuilding – not just repairing damage but making sure our state, individuals, families, communities, the economy, is stronger than it has ever been.”

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