Melbourne lockdown: no more curfew and new mask rules, here’s what you need to know

Daniel Andrews has rescinded the Melbourne curfew and added new face mask rules as Victoria proceeds to Step 2 of lockdown easing.

In some much-needed good news for Melbourne residents, yesterday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced some easing to coronavirus lockdown restrictions as the state moves to Step 2 of their reopening roadmap.

The biggest changes include the lifting of Melbourne’s dreaded curfew, along with hefty new fines for flouting restrictions, as well as adjustments to face mask rules.

melbourne coronavirus lockdown
Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

As of 5 am this morning, Melbourne will no longer endure its nightly curfew; however, it comes with the establishment of some large new fines for unlawful gatherings, with the current fine of $1650 set to triple to almost $5000.

“Tonight will be the last night of the curfew,” Andrews described to media yesterday. “It will be lifted from 5:00am tomorrow. While the curfew comes off, we have decided that a new fine, a penalty just less than $5,000, will apply for any unlawful outdoor gatherings or indoor gatherings.”

There remain four reasons to leave the house including shopping for food and necessary goods; providing care, compassionate reasons or seeking medical treatment; outdoor exercise and recreation; and for work and educational purposes – however, the 5 km radius rule does still apply for Melbourne lockdown.

Under new measures, around 127,000 Melbourne workers will be able to return to work from today from a list of permitted industries including warehousing, postal and distribution centres, supermarket and food distribution, wholesale business, meat, seafood and poultry processing, construction, real estate, gardening, landscaping, and garden maintenance. Residents will also be allowed to meet up outside in groups of up to five people from two different households. Students will begin making a staggered return to schools.

Face masks will continue to be mandatory across the state; however, one important change is that only fitted facemasks will now be accepted. This means that face shields, bandanas or any other kind of protection will no longer pass as a face mask. Andrews has given a two-week transition period for Victorians to adjust to the changes. Currently, anyone not wearing a mask outside of their home faces a fine of $200.

For a full list of changes, check out Daniel Andrews’ tweet below.