Covid restrictions return in Melbourne after reports of fifth case

The Victorian government has announced new coronavirus social distancing restrictions for Greater Melbourne in response to the latest outbreak.

This is a rolling story that will update as we get new information so please come back to check on the latest rules.

From 6pm on Tuesday, private gatherings in homes will be limited to five visitors per day and public gatherings will be limited to 30 people.

Face masks will have to be worn indoors including at all workplaces in Greater Melbourne. Exemptions apply for people aged under 12 years old.

“Masks are compulsory indoors but there are exemptions,” said Acting Premier James Merlino.

“If you are eating and drinking, if you are at a beauty salon, you need to take your mask for treatment, there are circumstances of course where a mask is taken [off] for a period of time.

“It is a simple message and well understood. Victorians understand the things we need to do and wearing a mask indoors is an easy measure. Sometimes it is inconvenient [but] we know that it works and it makes a difference.”

Schools and workplaces will remain open with current restrictions. There are no changes to existing density rules. Children in primary schools do not have to wear masks but teachers will need to wear a mask. Secondary school students need to wear masks.

The government will pause a move to lift the density quotient in outdoor spaces and venues to a maximum of 200 people in spaces smaller than 400 sq m.

“In terms of what can happen right now in bars and restaurants, that continues other than you need to wear a mask if you are indoors. Obviously, not wearing a mask when you’re eating or drinking, but when you are indoors, wear a mask,” Mr Merlino said.

Mr Merlino said there were no changes for the rules on sport crowds, major events, bars or restaurants.

“For football crowds and other major events, they will be a panel that will go through the events and they will provide advice. We will get events advice. There are a range of events, but that is football or cultural events and we will work through those and provide further advice when that is finalised,” he said.

Mr Merlino said if a wedding or funeral was in a private residence then restrictions applied meaning only five guests are allowed plus the celebrant and one photographer.

If a wedding was at a venue, there would be no change to be existing density quota other than the requirement to wear a facemask when not eating or drinking.

Use of the Service Victoria QR code service will be mandatory in all venues and facilities required to have mandatory electronic record-keeping from Friday, 28 May.

Greater Melbourne residents can still travel to regional Victoria but their “restrictions travel with them”.

A statement from the government says: “If you visit someone outside of metropolitan, they must not have more than five visitors to their home in that day. If you attend a public gathering outside of Greater Melbourne, it must not be bigger than 30 people”.