Coronavirus (COVID-19) – new restrictions and closures

The Victorian Government has announced new measures to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). They come into force at midnight on 25 March 2020.

The most important message for all Victorians is to stay at home and avoid all gatherings of people. This minimises the chances of transmission, protects the health system and saves lives.

If you are with other people, you must observe the rule of 1 person for every 4 square metres to ensure a safe physical distance.

If you are in doubt about whether you should go out, go to the shops, take public transport, or let your children go on a play date – the simple answer is don’t.  

What are the new measures?

The Victorian Government has already ordered the closure of hotels, pubs and clubs (excluding bottle shops within those venues), casinos, cinema, nightclub, entertainment venues, gyms and indoor sporting centres.

There are now further closures of non-essential businesses, limitations on certain activities, and closure of a range of venues, attractions and facilities where large numbers of people would otherwise be in close proximity.

What activities must cease?

Cafés and food courts          

All cafés and food courts must stop providing table service, but may continue to offer delivery and takeaway.

Cafes and canteens may continue to operate at:

  • Hospitals
  • Care homes or schools
  • Prisons and military bases
  • Workplaces, although only as a takeaway service

Food services for the homeless can continue without restriction.

Retail and commercial premises

The following business activities must stop now:

  • Auction houses
  • Real estate auctions and open house inspections, except for private inspections by appointment
  • Markets, whether indoor or outdoor, unless a food market. If the market has non-food stalls, these non-food stalls must close.

Beauty and personal care services

Hairdressers, barber shops and hair salons may continue to operate, ensuring no more than 1 person for every 4 square metres of space and for a maximum of 30 minutes with each client.

All other personal care services where there is close contact for a prolonged period must cease, including:

  • Beauty therapy, spray-tanning, waxing and nail salons
  • Tattoo and piercing parlours
  • Spas and massage parlours

Allied health services, such as physiotherapy and podiatry are not required to close. 

Entertainment venues

The following entertainment venues where groups of people may come in close contact for extended periods must close:

  • cinemas and theatres
  • nightclubs
  • casinos, gaming or gambling venues
  • adult entertainment premises such as strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues
  • concert venues
  • arenas, auditoriums and stadiums where performances are held, except where a small group performs to an online audience via live-streaming or similar technology
  • amusement parks and arcades
  • children’s play centres, both indoor and outdoor.

Community and recreation centres

These venues must close:

  • health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities
  • social sporting-based activities
  • swimming pools, both public and shared
  • saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres
  • community and recreation centres. These facilities may remain open for the purposes of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services.

Boot camps and personal training services can continue only if they are outdoor, and then only up to a maximum of 10 people at any one session, ensuring no more than 1 person for every 4 square metres of space.

Outdoor recreation

The following facilities must close, except where the accommodation is for the purposes of respite, for victims of family violence, other vulnerable groups or for care purposes. This includes:

  • caravan and camping parks, except where people live there permanently or as an interim abode where the primary residence is not available.

Non-residential institutions

These venues must close:

  • zoos, petting zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks, except for the maintenance, care or rescue of animals
  • museums, national institutions and historic sites
  • galleries, libraries, toy libraries
  • community centres, youth centres and community facilities (such as community halls, clubs, RSLs, PCYCs). These facilities may remain open for the purposes of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services
  • local government non-essential facilities and services (such as libraries and pools).

Places of worship

All places of worship must close, except for the conduct of weddings and funerals in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Weddings may be held in places of worship (or other venues), but only with the couple, celebrant and maximum of two witnesses in attendance.
  • Funerals may be held in places of worship, funeral parlours or other venues, with a maximum of ten mourners in attendance.