Victorians will only be required to wear masks while shopping indoors, riding on public transport or travelling in a taxi or Uber, under relaxed restrictions set to take effect on Monday.
On the state’s 37th consecutive day without a coronavirus case, Premier Daniel Andrews announced a range of measures for a “COVID-safe summer” that would start at midnight.
He said masks must be carried by everyone at all times, but rules requiring them to be worn in restaurants and cafes will no longer apply.
Masks will remain compulsory in indoor shopping areas such as supermarkets, department stores and inside markets.
Mr Andrews said shoppers must continue to wear masks in stores such as Kmart, Myer, IKEA, Bunnings and JB Hi-Fi, as well as markets such as the Prahran markets.
“There is a need, a requirement to continue to wear a mask in those settings,” he said.
Also from Monday, Victorians will be allowed to host up to 30 people in their homes.
The change was initially slated to happen next week and has been brought forward.
“That’s not 30 for lunch and 30 for dinner,” Mr Andrews said.
“That’s 30 across the day, and I’m sure that will be very warmly welcomed.”
The limit for outdoor public gatherings, such as at a beach or park, will be raised to 100 people from any number of households.
There will be no cap for weddings, funerals and religious gatherings but a one person to 2 sqm density rule will apply.
On dance floors, the density rule will be one person to every 4 sqm and a maximum of 50 people will be allowed.
Mr Andrews said the restrictions would be in place until at least the end of January to ensure Victoria’s virus-free streak continues.
“We all need to remain vigilant and we all need to play our part,” he said.
“Nothing is more important than all of us playing our respective part in safeguarding and protecting this internationally unique, very valuable and precious thing.”
Changes to work-from-home arrangements were also announced on Sunday, but they will not take effect until next month.
Starting January 11, private sector companies will be allowed to move up to 50 per cent of their employees back to the office space.
For the state’s public sector, 25 per cent will be allowed to return from that date, and 50 per cent can resume working from the office on February 8.
Currently, private sector companies can have up to 25 per cent of their employees on-site, while the entire public sector has been working from home.