As Victoria hits the 90% double dose milestone for eligible people, the Victorian Government has announced nearly all remaining restrictions will be lifted statewide for fully vaccinated people from 11:59pm, Thursday 18 November – reaching Phase D of the National Plan.
This means that from 11:59pm, Thursday 18 November 2021
- The vaccinated economy will remain, as will face masks in some settings.
- There will be no caps or density limits for cafés and restaurants.
- Indoor dance floors will reopen.
- Non-essential retail settings across Victoria will join the vaccinated economy. It will only be open to people who are fully vaccinated or have a valid medical exemption, and children aged under 12 years and two months.
- All indoor and outdoor events with less than 30,000 fully vaccinated attendees will be able to proceed with no special approval. A COVIDSafe Plan is required.
- Major events like the Boxing Day Test and the Australian Open will be able to proceed at full capacity, subject to the approval of the MCG and Melbourne Park’s COVIDSafe Plan.
Face mask requirements overview
Face masks will still be required:
- for workers serving the public at hospitality venues
- for workers and customers at indoor retail
- for workers in corrections
- for workers in meat, poultry and seafood processing
- for visitors and select workers in hospitals or care facilities
- for people using public transport, taxi and rideshare and planes
- for primary school staff and visitors and for students in Years 3 to 6.
Unless the health services see a significant jump in hospitalisations, customers for retail will no longer need to wear masks after 15 December – in line with settings in New South Wales.
Vaccination requirements for workers
Significant changes to isolation rules and the management of COVID-19 exposures and cases from 11:59pm Thursday 18 November 2021 have also been announced.
- Self-quarantine obligations are to be reduced across the board for COVID-19 cases and fully vaccinated contacts, empowering people who test positive to take action to protect others with simple advice and guidance to help them inform their social contacts on what to do.
- The vast majority of people who come into contact with a confirmed positive case outside their home won’t have to self-quarantine. These contacts will be required to get a standard (PCR) test and isolate until they get a negative result.
- This means exposure in places like offices, restaurants or nightclubs won’t automatically result in quarantine for the patrons or staff, who previously would have been designated Primary Close Contacts at Tier 1 exposure sites.
- Businesses will be asked to self-manage their exposure in line with public health guidance. COVIDSafe practices are strongly encouraged and a COVIDSafe Plan is still required.
- Workers exposed at work, and children who are exposed at school or early childhood centres, will need to show a negative PCR test result to return to work or school – with recommended RAT testing thereafter.
- In addition to isolation changes for contacts, people who have COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days, instead of 14 days.
When the settings are in effect, a new online portal offering clear and simple ‘checklist’ advice for cases, contacts and workplaces will be published at www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/checklist, which will also include advice on how to have the conversation with your family and friends.
COVIDSafe Settings will also be published at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covidsafe-settings.