Information about easing shopping, retail and personal services restrictions from 11.59pm on 31 May.

Key points

From 11.59pm on 31 May, restrictions on shopping, retail and personal services are: 

  • Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours can now open with up to 20 patrons – the four square metre rule applies to the publicly accessible parts of the venue, and a distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained between customers.
  • Market stalls may open – the four square metre rule applies to indoor markets and a distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained between people who do not live in the same household.
  • Other retail outlets may continue to operate; the four square metre rule applies to customers, and a distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained between people who do not live in the same household
On this page

Summary of current restrictions

From 11.59pm on 31 May, restrictions on shopping, retail and personal services are:

  • Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours can now open with up to 20 people allowed on one premises, noting the four square metre rule and physical distancing requirements need to be adhered to for publicly accessible parts of the premises.
  • Market stalls may open – the four square metre rule applies to indoor markets and a distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained between people who do not live in the same household.
  • Other retail outlets may continue to operate; the four square metre rule applies to customers, and a distance of 1.5 metres should be maintained between people who do not live in the same household.

As always, we’re urging Victorians to use common sense in their activities. It’s up to all of us to make this work.

How will you keep staff and customers safe? 

We are working with industry bodies to implement appropriate safety measures to protect both staff and customers ahead of businesses opening.  

These measures include detailed guidance for operators where required, limits on the number of people allowed in a space (also known as the four square metre rule) and increased cleaning.  

Victorians are asked to play their part by using cashless payment, keeping 1.5 metres between themselves and others and staying at home if they are unwell. 

Visit the Business and industry page for more information including how to keep your staff and customers safe.

Personal services

Which personal services are now open?

From 11.59pm on 31 May, some businesses providing personal care services can now open.

This includes the following businesses:

  • beauty therapy, spray-tanning, waxing and nail salons
  • spa and massage services providing relaxation massages as distinct from therapeutic or remedial massage (which have remained open)
  • tattoo and piercing services

Up to 20 customers are allowed on one premises at any one time, subject to the four square metre rule, and the business is required to take your first name and contact phone number. Physical distancing should be maintained between customers.

Which personal services remain prohibited?

Sex work venues and services and adult entertainment services remain prohibited.

Can I still use a barber or hairdresser?

Yes, but the hairdresser or barber is required to take your first name and contact phone number. This is to support contact tracing should it be necessary. You should check with your barber or hairdresser about the steps they have put in place to minimise risks and follow their direction.

My business can now reopen. What do I need to do to keep my clients safe?

Personal service shops are required to keep records of the first name and contact phone number of each visitor who has attended the premises (staff, patrons, maintenance and delivery workers).  Records should be kept for 28 days to assist with contact tracing should it be required.

Visit the Business and industry page for more information.

Do I need to record all of my customers’ contact details?

Yes. Personal services are required to keep records for 28 days of the first name and contact phone number of each visitor who has attended the premises (staff, patrons, maintenance and delivery workers). 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.

Have further guidelines been developed to support businesses reopening?

Yes, further advice for these services has been developed and is available at Business Victoria for guidelines and associated resources.

Shopping

Are there restrictions on what time I can go shopping?

No. You can shop at whatever time suits you, however many retailers are changing their opening hours, so check online or by phone before you leave home to ensure they are open. Try to go shopping outside of busy hours to avoid crowds.

All retailers must ensure customers can maintain physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres between people at all times and must limit the number of people on their premises in line with density requirements.

Can I go to the supermarket?

Yes. However, you should keep visits to a minimum.

Make a list of the things you need, shop quickly and minimise the time you spend there. Ideally, only one person from your household should go to the supermarket each time to minimise the numbers of people in the supermarket at any one time.

Can I take a friend or relative to the shops with me?

If you need help with shopping, or if a friend or family member needs help, or you can’t leave them at home, then you can go to the supermarket or shopping centre together, observing physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others.

Can I still go to big shopping centres?

You may go to a shopping centre for the purpose of shopping for necessary goods and services. If you do go to the shopping centre, you should spend as little time there as possible.

How are you stopping people crowding in shopping centre walkways? 

Measures are being put in place to encourage people to maintain 1.5 metres distance while waiting in line or moving through common areas. Victorians are also being asked to continue to keep 1.5 metres between yourselves and others. 

Can I go out to pick up my online shopping from the post office or other collection point?

Yes. However, consider what online shopping you really need to do during this time. If you wish to pick up a purchased item from a point of collection, first check online or phone to confirm what hours it is open and travel directly there and home again. Always observe physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

Requirements for shops, retail and restaurants

There are three special requirements for every business in Victoria that has customers on its premises:

  • You must measure your publicly available floorspace and identify the maximum number of customers allowed on your premises at one time. For example, if your shop is 2 metres wide and 8 metres deep, its floorspace would allow a maximum of 4 customers inside at one time (2 x 8 = 16m2, divided by 4 m2 per person = 4 customers).
  • You must place a sign at the entrance/s to your premises indicating the maximum capacity of your shop and ensure no more than this number of customers are in your premises at any one time.
  • You must initiate a cleaning regime that ensures:
    • frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, touch screens, handrails and benchtops are cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day
    • all surfaces are cleaned and disinfected when visibly soiled
    • all surfaces are cleaned and disinfected immediately if there is spillage.

The cleaning regime must include use of a disinfectant with anti-viral properties that complies with the published requirements of the Department of Health and Human Services. Download Cleaning and disinfecting to reduceCOVID-19 transmission (Word).

Visit the Business and industry page for more information.

What is the ‘four square metre’ rule?

As a way to limit the number of people who may gather in a premise at one time, retail operators must allow entry to no more than one customer for every four square metres of publicly available floor space in their shop. For example, if a shop has a publicly available floorspace of 20 square metres, then no more than five customers can be in that premises at the same time.

Visit the Business and industry page for more information about the four square metre rule.

Should barriers and distancing remain at supermarkets and in retail spaces?

Yes, physical distancing measures including barriers to encourage customers to keep 1.5 metres apart should be maintained.

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

Most businesses, including cafes and restaurants, are required to keep a record of names and contact details of customers to assist in contact tracing, if required.

Are there any restrictions on trading hours for stores that remain open?

No. It’s up to an individual business when they choose to operate, subject to the usual rules and regulations.

Is home delivery still permitted?

Yes. Always maintain a distance of 1.5 metres between you and other people, especially when paying and taking delivery of a package. Try to use contactless payment or pre-pay online if possible. 

If you live in an apartment with a security entrance try to pick up your delivery from the front of the building. This minimises the risk to any older or vulnerable people who share the common areas of the property.

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

Market stalls that predominately provide food and drink have continued to operate. From 11.59pm on 31 May, market stalls that sell non-food and drink products are also permitted to trade.

The market operator is responsible for ensuring the four square metre rule is applied to indoor spaces. Customers should keep 1.5 metres in between them and other people who are not part of their household.

Can my food truck open?

As a service offering takeaway food, food trucks are allowed to open. However operators should ensure there is enough open space to allow physical distancing.

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 directions of the Chief Health Officer.

As restrictions are eased, industry bodies, Victoria Police, Worksafe, DHHS and Local Government Authorised Officers will work together under both the Directions and existing legislative and regulatory frameworks to boost education and remediation, in addition to driving enforcement and compliance with the Directions.

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 a direction by the Chief Health Officer to provide information.

Fines of up to $20,000 for individuals and $100,000 for businesses are possible through the court system.