Third Step

11.59pm on 16 September 2020

Third Step commences at 11.59pm on 16 September.

What does this mean I can do?

From 11:59pm on Wednesday 16 September regional Victoria moved to Third Step restrictions, meaning:

  • You can have up to ten people at a wedding including the couple and two witnesses. The celebrant is not included in the ten person cap.
  • Up to 20 mourners can attend a funeral. Babies under 12 months of age or people required to conduct the funeral are not included in the limit. You can travel to attend a funeral.
  • Outdoor religious gatherings are allowed for up to ten people plus one faith leader.
  • Places of worship can open for private worship. Private worship can be attended by households or bubbles plus a faith leader.

You should not attend a wedding, funeral or religious gathering if you are feeling unwell.

Your questions answered

Third Step restrictions

From 11:59pm on Wednesday 16 September the following restrictions apply:

  • Weddings are limited to ten people including the couple and two witnesses. The celebrant is not included in the ten person cap. You cannot travel to or from metropolitan Melbourne to attend a wedding as a guest. Babies under 12 months of age are not included in the limit.
  • Funerals are limited to 20 mourners plus those required to conduct the funeral. You can travel to attend a funeral. Babies under 12 months of age are not included in the limit.
  • A wedding or funeral held in a private residence will be limited to the members of the household and the household bubble (up to five visitors), plus the people required to conduct the ceremony. 
  • Places of religion and worship can open for private worship. Private worship can be attended by a household or a household bubble (up to five people from that household) plus a faith leader.
  • Places of religion and worship must remain closed for religious ceremonies. If you are live streaming a service, you can attend a place of worship to conduct the service. Up to five people can attend to support the live streaming of a service.
  • Outdoor religious gatherings are allowed for up to ten people plus one faith leader.
  • You should not attend a wedding, funeral or religious gathering if you are feeling unwell.
  • You must wear a face mask at all times, unless you have a lawful exemption. You should maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from others.

Can I attend a funeral?

Funerals are limited to 20 people plus those required to conduct the funeral. Babies under 12 months of age are not included in the 20 person limit.

A funeral held in a private residence will be limited to the members of the household and the household bubble (up to five visitors), plus the people required to conduct the ceremony.

You should not attend a funeral if you are feeling unwell. You must wear a face mask, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so. Even with a face mask, you should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others.

Can I travel to a wedding?

If you live in regional Victoria, you can travel to a wedding within regional Victoria.

Weddings are limited to ten people including the couple and two witnesses. The celebrant is not included in the ten people limit, nor are babies under 12 months of age.

All those attending must wear face mask, except the couple while they are in the process of getting married, or if another exemption applies.

People who live in metropolitan Melbourne are not permitted to participate in marriage ceremonies, unless there is an exemption on compassionate grounds.

Can I attend a wedding?

In regional Victoria, weddings are limited to ten people including the couple and two witnesses. The celebrant is not included in the ten person cap.

If the wedding is held in a private residence, then the number of people attending is limited to the members of the household and the household bubble (up to five visitors). The celebrant isn’t included in the person cap and may attend under the provision of work and must wear a face mask.

Witnesses will not be able to attend the wedding in a private residence unless they reside at the same address as the couple or are part of their household bubble.

You should not attend a wedding if you are feeling unwell. You must wear a face mask, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so. Even with a face mask, you should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between you and others unless they are members of your household.

The couple getting married does not need to maintain 1.5 metres distance from each other.

Can I hold a wake?

Wakes are not considered part of the funeral and therefore can only be held in line with the public gathering requirements (up to 10 people outdoors), or privately with up to 5 people from the household bubble.

Are places of worship open?

All places of worship of all denominations are open for private worship. Private worship can be attended by a household or a household bubble (the household plus up to five people from the nominated household) plus a faith leader.

All places of worship of all denominations are closed for ceremonies, except for the purposes of conducting weddings and funerals. Places of worship will not be able to hold indoor ceremonies until the Last Step of reopening.

Ceremonies and services can still be recorded or broadcast live from the place of worship for viewing online. Those who are necessary to conduct the ceremony can be on site to record and live stream services, however this is limited to a maximum of five people. Those people must wear a face mask at all times, unless you have a lawful exemption. Always keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

Places of worship can continue to be open for essential public support services. Essential public support services include food banks, help for the homeless or other essential activities. Face masks must be worn, unless you have a lawful exemption. Keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

Can I attend a prayer group?

Outdoor religious gatherings are allowed for up to ten people plus one faith leader.

Can I visit a cemetery outside of attending a funeral?

Yes, you can visit a cemetery with the members of your household your partner or a group of up to ten people at any one time.

You must wear a face mask, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so. Even with a face mask, you should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others.

Do I need to keep records?

A place of worship that is hosting a wedding or funeral must request the first name and contact phone number of the people who have attended. Keep a record for 28 days for the purposes of contact tracing. See 'Record keeping requirements' on the Business and industry page.

How is this enforced?

Directions continue to be enforced through spot checks by Victoria Police and use of emergency powers by DHHS 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.

Members of the public can raise concerns about venues through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. Workers can raise concerns via WorkSafe on 1800 136 089. 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.

DHHS and WorkSafe is co-ordinating intelligence and information on businesses that are non-compliant.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

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.

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.