Melbourne will officially come out of stage four lockdown from 11:59pm tonight.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the news in a press conference yesterday after the state recorded zero cases.
Premier Andrews said he was confident the state was “firmly on top of this virus” and could move into the Third Step.
Melbourne cafes, restaurants and pubs can reopen with a limit of 20 diners indoors and 50 diners outdoors.
Density limits, record keeping and COVIDSafe Plans are mandatory.
Restrictions will again loosen from 8 November if the state is able to “continue driving case numbers down”, said Premier Andrews.
From 8 November, diner numbers will increase to 40 inside and 70 outside.
A travel restriction of 25km will remain in place until 8 November and masks remain mandatory.
“We want to reach COVID Normal by Christmas and right now, we’re on track to do that,” said the Premier.
Diners have flocked to book tables as operators rush to get ready to resume dine-in trade for the first time in months.
“It’s taken 8 long months to get here,” Lucas Restaurants’ CEO Chris Lucas posted on Instagram.
“The rules will be very challenging but I know how much my staff and I want to get back to what we love… Please be patient with us and with all restaurants across Melbourne as we come out of this horrendous lockdown.”
While many venues will reopen as soon as possible, restricted customer numbers are a barrier for others.
“75 per cent of Victoria’s pubs will remain closed unless more reasonable limits are allowed – this extreme limit on venue capacity will not result in many people returning to work,” says AHA National CEO Stephen Ferguson.
“A reasonable first step would have been to allow pubs to recommence with one patron-per-four square metres indoors and one patron per two square metres outdoors.”
Image credit: City of Melbourne