Melbourne’s 5km travel radius will expand to 25km from midnight under eased restrictions announced by the state’s premier Daniel Andrews.
From 11.59pm on Sunday, residents of the city who have been under lockdown for more than 100 days will be able to travel up to 25km for either exercise or shopping.
The city’s two-hour time limit for exercise and socialising will also be scrapped and groups of up to 10 people from two households will be permitted to gather outdoors.
Hairdressers and outdoor sporting facilities including tennis courts, golf courses and skate parks will reopen, and outdoor real estate auctions will recommence.
Several changes were also announced for regional Victoria, where two adults and two children will now be permitted to visit a home and hospitality venues can increase the number of patrons to 70 people outside and 40 people inside.
Andrews said on Sunday Victorians had done “an amazing job” during months of extended lockdown.
“What it means is that as so many cities across the world head into what is going to be a deadly winter, we in Melbourne and across Victoria are well-placed to have a Covid-safe summer and a Covid-normal 2021,” he said.
Restrictions to ease even further on 1 November
There will be further easing of restrictions in both Melbourne and regional Victoria from 11.59pm on Sunday 1 November.
From that date, Melbourne residents will be permitted to leave their homes for any reason, retail will reopen, hospitality venues will reopen with limits on the number of patrons, and two adults and two children will be able to visit another home once per day.
Andrews said if it was possible to make some of those changes safely before that date, the government would consider it.
The state announced another day of single figures for new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, with two cases recorded and no deaths.
Andrews hits back after federal MPs pile on premier
Andrews took aim at federal government MPs, including the health minister Greg Hunt, who have been critical of the state’s approach and called for a reopening in line with conditions in New South Wales.
“I don’t accept that anybody has a more complete picture of what this virus is doing in Victoria than the Victorian chief health officer, the Victoria deputy chief health officer, the Victorian health minister and the Victorian premier,” he said.
“My position to the Victorian communities but I’m not doing what is popular, I am doing what is safe. Because we don’t want to be back here again.”
Melbourne’s rolling 14-day case average dropped to 7.5 on Sunday, down 0.6 from Saturday.
Changes in Melbourne from 19 October
There will be no time limit on leaving your home for exercise or socialising.
The travel distance from your home will