Melbourne’s arduous 15-week COVID-19 lockdown is officially over, with businesses able to reopen and families reunite.
Restaurants, cafes, pubs and retail stores could throw open their doors from 11.59pm on Tuesday, with some wasting no time getting back to business.
Angus & Bon in Melbourne’s southeast was one of the first restaurants to welcome back customers, serving patrons at the stroke of midnight.
The New York-style steakhouse in Prahran and other metropolitan hospitality venues can host up to 50 people outdoors and 20 indoors, subject to density limits.
It came as Premier Daniel Andrews outlined new rules for home visits which were curtailed throughout Victoria’s devastating second wave, making it difficult for people to see family and friends.
Two adults from one household can now visit another home accompanied by any dependents. The visits are restricted to within the 25km travel limit and to one per day.
Home gathering restrictions will remain in place beyond November 8, when the travel limit and the “ring of steel” separating the city from regional Victoria is lifted.
Hours before Tuesday’s rules rollback, the Victorian government also clarified advice on home businesses and workers, masks and Halloween.
Masks should be worn inside gyms for most activities apart from running on a treadmill, with the premier earlier saying they will remain mandatory outdoors across the state for the rest of the year and possibly into 2021.
Home businesses such as hairdressers will be able to reopen if they have a “discrete retail area”, while cleaners and maintenance workers may attend homes provided they wear a mask.
Halloween trick-or-treating will be permitted in Melbourne and regional Victoria this Saturday as long as it’s “contactless”, with people unable to enter properties, including front yards, to doorknock.
Victoria recorded a second consecutive day of no new coronavirus cases or deaths on Tuesday – the first time since March 5 and 6.
It leaves the state’s virus death toll at 817 and the national figure at 905.