Ring of steel comes down


By Jessica Micallef

Victoria is finally whole again after Premier Daniel Andrews eased further restrictions on Sunday.

The 25-kilometre travel limit has been lifted and the ‘ring of steel’ dividing metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria has been removed.

Two visitors from different households, plus dependents, can visit another home and can come at different times.

Restaurants, pubs and cafes can host up to 40 patrons indoors and 70 outdoors.

Galleries, cinemas and museums can reopen with up to 20 people per space and gyms, fitness studios can have 20 people per venue, with 10 people per space. Patrons must continue to wear a face mask unless out of breath.

Indoor sport for under-18s can resume and up to 20 people can be in an indoor pool venue.

Religious ceremonies, including funerals, are capped to 20 people indoors and 50 people for outside ceremonies. There is no change for weddings.

Victorians who can work from home, must continue to do so and masks rules remain in place.

Mr Andrews said the rules around wearing masks outside the home would not be removed soon.

“I will not speculate when that will be,” he said.

“Masks are I know, not a pleasant experience, particularly as the weather gets warmer, but they are low cost and high benefit.

“The most important thing of all that all of us has to do is stay the course on this, to be as stubborn as the virus. And if we let our guard down, it [the virus] will be back.

“Today [Sunday] is a day to be proud as Victorians of what we have been able to achieve.

“There has been a lot of pain and hurt and there is a need for healing, for investment, for all sorts of repair.”

From 11.59pm on November 22, it is expected private gatherings will be increased to 10 people with up to 50 people able to gather in public.

Hospitality venues, gyms and fitness studios, religious services, funerals and weddings will also be able to increase their capacity.

As of Sunday night, Hume and the Macedon Ranges and no active cases of the virus.