Hospitality businesses across Victoria have opened once again after Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the snap lockdown would end at 11:59pm 17 February.
Venues were forced to close their doors and revert back to takeaway for a period of five days.
There were zero locally acquired cases in the state on Wednesday morning, with Premier Andrews saying ”almost all” restrictions would be lifted.
Venues must adhere to the 2sqm rule per person if using electronic record keeping and 4sqm per person if using manual record keeping.
Public gatherings are limited to 20 people.
The 5km travel rule has also been removed, but masks are required indoors and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
It marks the third lockdown for Victoria, with Premier Andrews saying he couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t happen again.
”I can provide no guarantees because I’m not prepared to pretend to the Victorian community that this is over,” he said in a press conference.
”There is pain and difficulty in we’ve acknowledged that we will make announcements in good time about the people who are doing it tough, but the urgent nature and the rapid nature of these decisions speaks to the rapid infectivity of this virus and nothing more that.”
While the five-day lockdown is over, The City of Melbourne has confirmed its outdoor dining program will continue until mid-2021 for hospitality businesses.
The bonus three months enables outdoor spaces including ‘parklets’ to continue operating until 30 June, with plans to review the program after completion.
“The extended outdoor dining program has helped to provide hospitality businesses with extra capacity to seat more customers and get more revenue,” said Lord Mayor Sally Capp
“Businesses can have confidence that outdoor dining will continue in the City of Melbourne until winter. We’re looking into additional features to support outdoor dining during the cooler months such as weather protection.
“We want to reduce the administrative burden on businesses so will be directly contacting each business and have a simplified process to extend permits for those who wish to continue their outdoor dining space.”