11.59pm on 27 September 2020
Second Step restrictions apply. There are further changes to restrictions from 11:59pm on 18 October
Your questions answered
Restrictions on community services and local government facilities in metropolitan Melbourne are:
- Libraries (including toy libraries) are closed to the general public for library services but can operate to provide contactless collection and return and home delivery services to the community.
- Community facilities are also closed to the general public.
- Community facilities and libraries can continue to operate to host:
- an essential service such as food banks or services for people experiencing homelessness
- support groups (such as those related to alcohol and drugs, family violence and parenting).
- Community based health services, and alcohol and drug services can continue to provide services face-to-face.
Examples of community facilities are:
- community centres and halls
- youth centres
- Police and Community Youth Clubs (PCYCs)
- community clubs
- RSL clubs (sporting facilities component)
Are libraries open?
Libraries are closed to the general public. However, libraries (including toy libraries) can provide contactless collection and return and home delivery services to their members.
Can a recreational facility in metropolitan Melbourne be used for charitable or community service?
Yes. Local council centres and places of worship can still be used for delivering essential public services including emergency services such as food banks, or emergency accommodation for people experiencing homelessness.
Always ensure appropriate physical distancing is maintained by keeping at least 1.5 metres between people, at all times. You must wear a face mask, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.
Can a support group meeting be held in a community or recreational facility?
Yes. Essential public support services (such as groups related to alcohol and drugs, family violence and parenting) can continue to meet at local council centres or places of worship, with a maximum of 10 people.
Support groups, such as drug and alcohol support groups, can also continue to meet online.
When support groups are meeting at indoor venues, they are subject to permitted workplaces requirements and must have a COVIDSafe Plan.
Support groups must maintain density requirements of one person per four square metres, or a maximum of 10 people, whichever is less. Those attending must keep at least 1.5 metres distance from others. They must wear a face mask at all times unless they have a lawful reason not to. The record keeping requirements do not have to be adhered to where confidentiality is typically required.
Community-based health services, and alcohol and drug services can also continue face-to-face.
Can a community facility be used for a wedding or funeral?
A community or recreational centre can be used for a funeral.
Weddings are permitted in outdoor public spaces with a maximum of five attendees including the couple and witnesses, but not including the celebrant. Weddings do not need to occur proximate to a place of worship.
There are limits on the number of people who can attend weddings and funerals. More information is available on the Religion and ceremony – metropolitan Melbourne page.
Can people travel further than 25km to access food from food banks or charities?
Yes, if your closest food bank is further than 25km away, you may travel there to get food. If you are unable to leave a child or at-risk person at home unattended, then they may accompany you. You should not travel further than you need to.
Can I drop off items/donations to op shops?
No. We ask that you hold off on donating items right now. You will be able to donate to them in future.
Can op shops open?
Like other retail, op shops can only be open for home delivery to customers or for click-and-collect.
Can my child go to playgroup?
No. All in-person playgroups in metropolitan Melbourne have stopped meeting. However, you can socially interact outdoors as a household with up to four other people (babies under 12 months old do not count towards this limit), provided there no more than two households (including your household) present.
Can I go to my local art class?
No. All in-person non-essential groups in metropolitan Melbourne cannot meet.
How will you enforce this? Who will enforce it?
Directions will continue to be enforced through spot checks by Victoria Police and use of emergency powers by Authorised Officers to ensure compliance with the Public Health Directions.
Industry bodies, Victoria Police, WorkSafe, and Authorised Officers will work together to inform Victorians about the directions, as well as undertake enforcement and compliance activities as needed.
Community members can raise concerns about compliance with directions through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. Workers can raise concerns via Worksafe on 03 9641 1555. And employers can talk to their industry regulator or Peak body for specific industry related support.
A Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Joint Intelligence Unit has been established to support comprehensive preparedness and responses to outbreaks and identify and manage outbreak risks.
The Department of Health and Human Services and WorkSafe will co-ordinate intelligence and information on businesses that are non-compliant.
What are the penalties for noncompliance?
Victoria Police can issue on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses for:
- Refusing or failing to comply with the emergency directions
- Refusing or failing to comply with a public health risk power direction
- Refusing or failing to comply with the Public Health Directions to provide information.
Victoria Police can issue on-the-spot fines of up to $4,957 for people who live in metropolitan Melbourne who are found to be in regional Victoria without a lawful reason. This fine will also be issued if you gather outdoors in groups larger than five people, you have visitors to your home without a lawful reason, or you visit someone in their home without a lawful reason.
Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system. Individuals who do not wear a face mask and do not have a lawful reason can be fined $200.