If Victorians have earned anything this year, it’s a break.
And with school holidays just around the corner, families deserve the certainty they need to plan ahead.
We all want to be back at birthdays and BBQs – to see friends, to explore the coast or take the kids on a trip somewhere new.
And while it's hard to know exactly what tomorrow might bring – Victorian families are relying on a little more certainty to help make those plans happen.
Which is why today, we're taking a big step forward. So that every Victorian can get together and spend more time together.
On the advice of the Chief Health Officer, restrictions in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will ease from 11.59pm Thursday 24 June.
And these changes won't just last a week – they'll remain in place for at least two weeks' time, meaning Victorians can plan and get back to doing the things they love.
Private visitors to the home will increase from two in Melbourne, and five in regional Victoria to 15 across the entire state – and up to 50 people can gather outside in a public place like a park.
Funerals and weddings will be capped at 300 people, and hospitality venues can serve up to 300 in Melbourne, but density limits still apply.
Masks must still be worn inside. But more people in metropolitan Melbourne can return to offices, with 75% capacity – or 30 people in a workplace – whichever is greater.
Players, parents and spectators can attend outdoor community sport within the total cap of 1,000 people.
And live music will have greater numbers in pubs, clubs and other hospitality venues across the state too, but dance floors are still closed for now.
Theatres will initially open at 50% capacity, with up to 1,000 people. And this weekend crowds can attend public events and outdoor stadiums with a limit of 50%, or up to 25,000 people.
But, subject to epidemiology and the advice of the Chief Health Officer, from 11:59pm, 1 July, they'll be able to host even bigger numbers:
That means 100% capacity at shows like Frozen at Her Majesty's Theatre, and Harry Potter at the Princess Theatre.
And indoor and outdoor stadiums will be able to increase to 85 per cent capacity – so that includes the MCG, Marvel Stadium, and AAMI Park.
For the next week, we’re recommending that those travelling to Victoria's alpine region get tested prior departing metropolitan Melbourne, especially if they’re staying overnight.
And there's lots more detail online too, and this will give Victorians the confidence to make plans and enjoy the school holidays.
And if you’re taking some time off over the next few weeks, go out and explore your state.
Head to the bush, stay at the beach – shop in a small town, and buy Victorian made.
And everywhere you go, remember to check in using the Service Victoria QR code, this is the seat belt we need as we open up the state.
But please, if you’re coming from afar, stay away from storm and flood affected areas in the state’s east.
Many roads still aren’t safe, many trees continue to fall, and accommodation is in short supply.
And while we all deserve a break and a chance to explore our state, please remember – if you have even the mildest of symptoms, get tested.
If you’re catching up with mates and you’ve got a sore throat – go another night.
If you’re heading to the shops and you’ve got a runny nose – just order it online.
And if you’re finally seeing Mum and you’ve got a cough – remember who it is you’ve made all these sacrifices for.
Whatever your plans are, it’s not worth risking everything we’ve achieved – please get tested.
Victorians have worked so incredibly hard to get to this point.
So, let’s protect it. For ourselves – and for each other.