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, Third Step restrictions apply in regional Victoria. 

  • There are no restrictions on the reasons you can leave home or the distance you can travel in regional Victoria.  
  • Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours can reopen. They can only offer services where a face covering can be worn for the duration of the service. The four square metre rule, cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.  
  • Auction houses can open. The four square metre rule, cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.  
  • Real estate auctions can be conducted outdoors, with up to 10 members of the public and those required to conduct the auction.  
  • Market stalls can open. The four square metre rule, cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.  
Your questions answered

Third Step restrictions

From 11:59pm on 16 September, Third Step restrictions apply in regional Victoria. 

  • When shopping you should maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from others.  
  • Hairdressing and barbers, beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours can open.  They can only offer services where a face covering can be worn for the duration of the service. The four square metre rule, cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.  
  • Auction houses can open. The four square metre rule, cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.  
  • Market stalls can open. The four square metre rule, cleaning and signage requirements apply.  
  • Real estate auctions can occur outdoors with up to ten people plus the people required to conduct the auction. Inspections can take place by private appointment only.  
  • Shopping centres and market stalls must limit the number of people on their premises. The four square metre rule applies. Shopping centres and market stalls must follow cleaning and safety recommendations by the Victorian Government.  
  • Shops that open need to comply with the  four square metre rule, signage and cleaning recommendations.  

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

Shopping and retail  

What actions do I need to take when shopping?  

Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  

Before you leave home:   

  • If you feel unwell and have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) stay home, seek medical advice and get tested. Stay home while you wait for your test result.   
  • You must wear a face covering when you leave home, unless you have a lawful exception for not doing so.  

When you are out shopping:  

  • wash or sanitise your hands regularly  
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow  
  • respect the customer limits in place at each shop  
  • keep at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others, including while queuing  
  • avoid crowded indoor areas like parking ticket machines, lifts, escalators and entrances as much as possible  
  • wash your hands when you get home.  

For more information visit the Business and industry page on this website.  

Can I go to the supermarket?  

Yes, you can go to the supermarket. You should try to keep at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others and must wear a face covering unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.   

Can I shop with a friend or relative?  

If you need help with shopping, or if a friend or family member needs help, then you can go to the supermarket or shopping centre together. If you can’t leave someone at home while you shop, you can take them with you.   

You must wear a face covering, unless you have a lawful exception for not doing so, when you leave home. You should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others.  

Can businesses ask for my personal details as a condition of entry?  

Some businesses are required to keep a record of the first name and contact phone number of each visitor who attends the premises for more than 15 minutes. This includes staff, patrons, maintenance and delivery workers. These records should be kept for 28 days. This is to assist with contact tracing should it be required.  

Visit the Business and industry page for more information on collecting customer contact details.  

Are pet stores open and what services can they provide?  

Yes, pet stores are open as they supply necessary food and husbandry products for pets, including pet grooming.   

Can I take a shopping day-trip away from home?  

Yes, you can take a day-trip to go shopping in regional Victoria. There are no limits on how far you can travel within regional Victoria, however, you can’t travel to metropolitan Melbourne except to buy necessary goods and services.. You should only travel to the nearest provider in metropolitan Melbourne. 

Can I visit a shopping centre in metropolitan Melbourne?  

You can only visit a shopping centre in metropolitan Melbourne to buy necessary goods and services. You should only travel to the nearest provider in metropolitan Melbourne. Under the current restrictions in Melbourne, many shops are closed. Before leaving home you should check that the store you are heading to is still open.   

How are you ensuring shopping centres are safe?  

All shopping centres, must:   

  • Apply the four square metre rule to the shopping centre to limit the number of customers permitted to enter.  
  • Clean common areas to ensure that frequently touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day, that any soiled services are cleaned when visibly soiled and all surfaces are cleaned and disinfected immediately if there is spillage.  
  • Staff and the general public must wear face coverings unless they have a lawful exception.  

Can TABs in standalone facilities remain open?  

Gaming facilities, including TAB and KENO facilities can open in both retail and licensed premises subject to relevant restrictions. In licensed premises, patrons must remain seated unless they are placing a bet, purchasing food or drinks, using the toilet or entering or leaving the venue. 

Can display suites open?  

Yes. Display suites are open, subject to the rules on retail including cleaning, signage and density requirements.  Everyone should consider whether their visit to a display suite is necessary at this time, how to limit the number of trips, and whether they can shop online instead to minimise the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission. 

Are markets allowed to open? Do the gathering limits apply?  

Market stalls can open. The four square metre rule, cleaning and signage requirements apply.  

Both staff and customers must wear face coverings unless they have a lawful reason for not doing so. The market operator is responsible for ensuring the four square metre rule is applied to all indoor and outdoor spaces. Customers should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between themselves and other people.    

For more information on the four square metre rule visit the Business and industry page.  

Can my food truck open?  

Yes, food trucks can open.  

Operators should ensure staff are wearing face coverings, unless they have a lawful reason for not doing so. You should make sure there is enough open space to allow customers to keep at least 1.5 metres distance between themselves and others.  

Personal services  

What personal services are open?  

From 11:59pm on 16 September, beauty and personal services can open in regional Victoria. This includes the following businesses: 

  • Hairdressing and barbers 
  • Beauty therapy, spray-tanning, waxing and nail salons 
  • Spa and massage services 
  • Tattoo and piercing services.   

Businesses can only offer services where a face covering can be worn for the duration of the service. The four square metre rule, cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.  

Under Third Step restrictions the following businesses are still closed:   

  • brothels.   

Allied health services including therapeutic or remedial massage can continue to operate.  

Which beauty and personal services are allowed under the Third Step?  

Beauty and personal services can resume where the client can wear a face covering for the entire duration of the service. For example, nail services, ear piercing and body tattoos.  

Services such as facials, certain face tattoos, lip waxing, or certain face piercings where it is not possible to wear a face covering are not allowed.  

How will you enforce this?  

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 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.  

The Department of Health and Human Services and WorkSafe will coordinate 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.  

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 covering and do not have a lawful reason can be fined $200.