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What Victorias new restrictions mean for masks, weddings, hospitality, crowds and more

Restrictions are once again easing in Victoria, as the state continues its slow pathway out of its fourth lockdown.

Mask rules are relaxing, density caps reign supreme and you can finally dance at weddings again.

The changes from 11:59pm on Thursday, July 8, bring Melbourne in line with the rest of the state.

Masks are mandatory in a lot of indoor settings, but not all workplaces

People disembarking a tram in Melbourne, many of whom are wearing masks.
It’s recommended you keep your mask on outdoors if you can’t keep a 1.5-metre distance.(

ABC News: Danielle Bonica

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Victorians must still carry a face mask with them whenever they leave the home.

They continue to be mandatory in most indoor settings where you will come into contact with strangers — think cinemas, shopping centres, supermarkets, public transport and hospitality.

“It’s about applying the commonsense arrangements that masks work, they keep us safe, they’re low-cost, they’re not much of an imposition and they’re highly effective,” Health Minister Martin Foley said.

But they are not required if you have a medical exemption, or if you’re in a workplace that is not public facing. So if you work in an office or a factory, and you only interact with the people in that setting, it’s no longer required.

The same goes for teachers and students at schools.

A handful of pedestrians and a tram on a quiet street in Melbourne CBD.
There had been concerns mask rules were deterring people from returning to offices.(

ABC News: Barrie Pullen

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This change is something business groups have been pushing for for weeks, warning mandatory masks were keeping workers away from CBD offices.

But if you have dealings with members of the public, like in retail, hospitality or in reception at an office, keep that mask on. And of course, high-risk settings like healthcare and aged care keep the mask mandate.

Visitor caps remain unchanged

There’s no movement on private gathering numbers.

Victorians can only have 15 visitors to the home per day, with infants under 12 months not included in the cap.

Gatherings in public, like a barbeque in a park, remain capped at 50 people.

“Fifteen is a careful number, but it’s a number that the public health team are comfortable with,” Mr Foley said.

“And also by freeing up retail, by freeing up public gatherings, the view is that that will give us enough of an alternative location where people can gather safely with QR codes, with density quotients in place that will keep people in safe.”

But crowds at public events are boosted

We were expecting to see capacity lifted at stadiums and theatres a week earlier, but the outbreaks around the country meant that was put on pause.

Outdoor stadiums like the MCG (or Docklands if they keep the roof open) can increase capacity to 75 per cent, up to 40,000 people.

Indoor stadiums can have 75 per cent of capacity, up to 7,500 people.

Rows of empty red seats are lit up in the inside of the Princess Theatre.
The Princess Theatre will be able to fill to 75 per cent of its 1,500-patron capacity.(

Supplied: Marriner Group

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Theatres can now have 75 per cent of capacity, up to 2,000 people.

At non-seated entertainment venues — like a band room — there can be up to 300 people per space, with a density quotient of one person per 2 square metres in place if there is a COVID check-in marshal.

Which brings us to the next major change.

Density caps are again the main rule

QR code scanned at Melbourne shopping complex.
In most settings, the density rules are dependent on having a check-in marshal enforcing the rules.(

ABC News: Patrick Rocca

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In most settings, there will be one person allowed per 2 square metres of space — as long as there is a COVID check-in marshal ensuring people comply with contact tracing rules.

This applies to hospitality, religious ceremonies, community sport, swimming pools, community facilities, creative studios, amusement parks, brothels, retail, auction houses and beauty services.

Some of those settings have more specific rules which must be followed by the business, but for most Victorians the main difference you will notice is more people when you’re out and about.

Offices can have up to 75 per cent of staff on-site — or up to 30 people if the total workplace is 40 people or less — following that one person per 2 square metres rule.

The density cap does not apply for smaller hospitality venues or retail settings, which can both have up to 25 patrons before the cap applies.

Mr Foley has confirmed it will mean “normal service” for hospitality, so seated service is no longer mandated.

Nightclubs are back, and you can dance without a mask at a wedding

People raise their fists in a nightclub.
You’ll be able to get onto the dancefloor once again, provided there’s no more than 49 other people.(

Unsplash: Axville

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Just in time for the weekend, nightclubs are allowed to reopen.

There is no limit on the number of people allowed in the venue, provided the density cap is followed, but only 50 people are allowed on dance floors at any one time.

The number of people allowed at weddings remains 300, subject to the density limits of the venue.

But in news many couples have been waiting for, dance floors are allowed again. That 50-person limit applies at weddings, too.

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Acting Victorian Chief Health Officer says masks will no longer be required at weddings.

Acting Chief Health Officer Deb Friedman confirmed masks would no longer be mandatory during the nuptuials. 

“In a setting where people have checked in for the event and we’re able to easily contact trace, and where people are going to be consuming food and beverages, we’d expect that common sense would prevail and masks wouldn’t be worn in that type of setting,” she said.

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