First Step

11.59pm on 13 September 2020

First Step: Shopping, retail and personal services - metropolitan Melbourne

What does this mean I can do?

From 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September, the First Step restrictions apply to shopping and retail in metropolitan Melbourne. Under these restrictions you can leave home to buy necessary goods and services: 

  • A curfew applies. From 9pm until 5am you must be at home. The only reasons to leave home during these hours are work, medical care and caregiving. 
  • Supermarkets, food and liquor stores will continue to stay open to allow people to buy food so there is no need to stock up on groceries. 
  • For the purposes of shopping, you can only travel up to 5km from your home. You should stay as close to your home as possible, for example shopping at the nearest supermarket. For some people the nearest essential goods and services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider. 
  • Only one person per household can leave home to get necessary goods and services. They can leave once a day (this means you can’t do multiple shopping trips). 
Your questions answered

Summary of restrictions

From 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September the First Step;restrictions apply to shopping, retail and personal services.

  • A curfew is in place. From 9pm until 5am you must be at home. The only reasons to leave home during these hours are for permitted work, exercise, health care and caregiving, to purchase necessary goods and services. You can also leave home for safety or emergency reasons.
  • Supermarkets, food and liquor stores will continue to stay open to allow people to buy food so there is no need to stock up on groceries.
  • For the purposes of shopping, you can only travel up to 5km from your home. You should stay as close to your home as possible, for example shopping at the nearest supermarket. For some people the nearest essential goods and services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider.
  • Only one person per household can leave home to get necessary goods and services. They can leave once a day (this means you can’t do multiple shopping trips). You should limit the time you spend away from home. If you are unable to leave a child or at-risk person at home unattended, then they may accompany you.
  • If you are taking a child, children or a person in your care with you when you shop you should not leave them in the car unattended while you shop. Leaving children unaccompanied in a vehicle is an offence in Victoria.

You must wear a face covering, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so, when shopping for food, supplies and essential services. Even with a face covering, you should keep at least 1.5 metres distance between you and others.

As always, we are urging Victorians to use common sense in their activities. It’s up to all of us to play our part in helping to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

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 then stay home. Do not go shopping before or after testing and wait until you have your test results.
  • You must wear a face covering when you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason 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 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. Under these restrictions: 

  • Supermarkets, food and liquor stores will continue to stay open to allow people to buy food so there is no need to stock up on groceries. 
  • You can only travel up to 5km from your home. You should stay as close to your home as possible, for example shopping at the nearest supermarket. For some people the nearest essential goods and services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider. 
  • Only one person per household can leave home to get necessary goods and services. They can leave once a day (this means you can’t do multiple shopping trips). You should limit the time you spend away from home. If you are unable to leave a child or at-risk person at home unattended, then they may accompany you. 
  • Make a list of the things you need, shop quickly and minimise the time you spend there. 
  • A curfew is in place. From 9pm until 5am you must be at your home and cannot go shopping. The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving. You can also leave home if are in danger or in an emergency.

You must wear a face covering at the supermarket unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so. 

I have special dietary requirements or need Kosher or Halal food. Can I travel further than 5km to purchase food that meets my requirements?   

If the nearest store that meets your special dietary requirements, including Kosher or Halal food, is more than 5kms from your home then you can travel to that location to purchase food. 

Can I take a friend or relative to the shops with me if I need help? Can I take dependents with me? 

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. This is only if additional help is required – if you can shop by yourself you must – asking someone to do your shopping for you is preferable to asking someone to take you to the shops.  

You can also take dependents who cannot be left at home with you to the shops. If you are taking a child, children or a person in your care with you when you shop you should not leave them in the car unattended while you shop. Leaving children unaccompanied in a vehicle is an offence in Victoria. 

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

I live in a share house – how does the one person per household per day rule apply to us?  

If you are living in a share house, the one person per household per day rule for shopping still applies to you. You should work with your housemates to shop for each other, use delivery or coordinate so that only one person per day leaves home to shop. 

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

Some businesses are required to request the first name and contact phone number of each visitor who has attended the premises for more than 15 minutes (including staff, patrons, maintenance and delivery workers) and keep records 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. 

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

You can pick up online shopping from the post office or other collection points with contactless click and collect – but this is considered shopping, and can only occur once per day. You should not travel any further than you have to. If you wish to pick up a purchased item from a point of collection, first check online or phone to confirm its opening hours. 

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

Can I continue to pick up items from e-commerce stores?  

Yes, you can pick up necessary items or items you have already purchased where pick up can’t be delayed. You must stay within 5km of your home, unless you cannot get the necessary good within 5km.   

Pick up should be contactless - keeping 1.5 metres from others - and payment should be arranged prior to pick up. You should wash or sanitise your hands before and after picking up your item.   

Each household member can only leave the house to shop once per day, and there is also a curfew in metropolitan Melbourne between 9pm and 5am. These factors should be considered when planning to shop for the day.  

You should delay any purchases that aren’t necessary during Stage 4 restrictions.   

Can I travel more than 5km from my home to collect a purchase? 

You can travel up to 5km from your home to collect necessary goods and services. You should postpone making any purchases that will require you to travel beyond 5km to collect or alternatively organise for the delivery of your purchase. Pick up can only be contactless click and collect. 

For some people the nearest essential goods and services will be more than 5km away. In this situation you may travel beyond 5km to the nearest provider. 

Can I pick up a purchase from Facebook marketplace or Gumtree?  

Under the Stay at Home directions, there are only four reasons to leave your house. Completing a sale at someone’s home is not one of the permitted reasons to leave your home.

How far can I travel to pick up items from e-commerce stores? 

You can only travel up to 5km from your home to pick up a necessary item. However, if the closest store is more than 5km away, you can travel further, but only as far as necessary to get the item. You should stay as close to your home as possible. 

Is home delivery still permitted? 

Home delivery is permitted. 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 pet stores open and what services can they provide? 

Yes, pet stores are open as they supply necessary food and husbandry products for pets. Pet grooming services (including self-service) co-located within pet stores are not permitted to operate. 

My favourite coffee shop is a couple of suburbs over - can I go there? 

No. You should not travel further than 5km from your home. You should stay as close to your home as possible.  Victorians must use common sense and consideration when it comes to their activities and stay close to home when they can. Lives are counting on it. 

I have a stall at a farmers’ market can that operate? 

Yes. Farmers markets are permitted to operate for the purposes of takeaway food and drinks, but are subject to density quotient and signage requirements. You should provide a clearly visible sign for customers and staff stating how many people are allowed at your stall/site. Where possible, designate separate areas for ordering and collecting items. Set up your site to enable customers to maintain physical distancing requirements, staying 1.5 metres from each other.  

Wherever possible you should use contactless payments methods. Stall holders need to follow hygiene requirements, including regularly washing hands and making sure frequently touched surfaces are cleaned regularly. All staff must wear a face covering. For your own and other customers’ safety, as a business owner or a staff member you can refuse service to someone who is not wearing a face covering – unless they have a lawful exception. You will not be fined if a customer refuses to wear a face covering.  

I usually buy my groceries from my local farmers’ market. Can I still do this if the market is outside my 5km radius? 

No. You can only visit your local farmers’ market or market stall if it is within 5km of your home, unless there is nowhere else to buy food or essential items within 5kms.  

Can TABs in standalone facilities remain open? 

No. Gaming facilities, including TAB and KENO facilities are closed. 

I went to the supermarket this morning, came home but now want to grab a coffee. Is that okay? 

No. You must only leave home for the purpose of getting food and supplies that you need – and only once per day. By reducing our movement, we help reduce the potential spread of the virus. 

Can businesses deliver goods to someone’s home? 

Yes. Home delivery is permitted. Face coverings must be worn and at least 1.5 metres distance maintained between people during delivery. Contactless payment or pre-pay online is required. 

Can non-food related businesses deliver goods? 

Yes. Home delivery is permitted. Face coverings must be worn and at least 1.5 metres distance maintained between people during delivery. Contactless payment or pre-pay online is required. 

Are nurseries and florists open? 

Nurseries and florists, like other retail outlets, can only open for in-store pick up of pre-purchased products (e.g. click and collect), or to offer home delivery services. 

Where can I get petrol? 

You should get petrol as close to home as possible. If you are travelling beyond 5km from your home for a permitted reason, such as work, care or caregiving or medical care you can attend the nearest petrol station. 

Can I meet someone to inspect a car I want to purchase?  

No. Car dealerships and salesrooms are currently not open under restrictions. If you are buying a car through a private sale you can only leave home if it is necessary to buy a car at this time e.g. if you are a permitted worker and need a car to get to work. You should not test drive a car if that involves you travelling in a car with someone you do not ordinarily live with.  

Can I pick up a new car I have purchased? 

No. Car dealerships and salesrooms are currently not open under restrictions. If you are buying a car through a private sale you can only leave home if it is necessary to buy the car at this time e.g. if you are a permitted worker and need the car to get to work. 

Can customers travel across town to pick up an order I’ve placed for click-and-collect under Stage 4 restrictions?   

Customers in restricted areas should not be travelling across town to pick up a click and collect order. 

The only times that customers can travel further than 5km from their home for necessary goods or services, including for click-and-collect, are for health and medical goods or if the necessary good or service is not available within 5km. You should purchase goods from a supplier that is as close to home as possible. 

Can bicycle repair or maintenance stores operate? 

Bicycles are considered vehicles and customers are permitted to seek urgent repairs. If the nearest repair or maintenance store is more than 5km from your home, you may travel outside the 5km zone to access these services. Bicycle repair and maintenance stores may operate for repairs and critical maintenance only. This should operate as ‘drop off and collect’ service to minimise face-to-face interaction. 

Do those requiring urgent vehicle repairs have to remain within the 5km radius?    

You can seek urgent vehicle repairs. You should seek to have your vehicle repaired within a 5km radius of your home where possible. If you are a permitted worker and your vehicle breaks down outside of the 5km radius, you should see to access the closest possible repairs service.  

Routine and logbook maintenance are not permitted activities under the Permitted Work Premises

What if I have a contractual obligation to service my vehicle at a certain mileage with a dealership that could void the warranty?  

You can seek urgent vehicle repairs. You should seek to have your vehicle repaired within a 5km radius of your home where possible. If you are a permitted worker and your vehicle breaks down outside of the 5km radius, you should see to access the closest possible repairs service.  

Routine and logbook maintenance are not permitted activities under the Permitted Work Premises.  

Can optometrists continue to operate optometry care and retail trade?   

Optometrists may continue to provide services that prevent a significant change/deterioration in functional independence that would result in more care being required. Permitted activities onsite include essential repairs and services, and attendance necessary to fill online orders.  

Can telecommunications retail stores (e.g. Telstra, Optus) operate?  

Telecommunications retail stores can continue to operate, but through ‘Click and Collect’ operations only. Specialist services at telecommunications retail stores are permitted to open by appointment for the purpose of supporting telecommunications as a critical service during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.   

Can I travel across town to pick up an order I’ve placed for click-and-collect?  

You should not be travelling across town to pick up a click and collect order. The only times you can travel further than 5km from your home for necessary goods or services, including for click-and-collect, are for health and medical goods or if the necessary good or service is not available within 5km. You should purchase goods from a supplier that is as close to home as possible. For more information about click and collect, visit Business Victoria

Are money transfer services (i.e. Western Union) able to operate?  

Yes. To the greatest extent possible, staff providing these functions must be supported to work from home, unless the function cannot be performed without an onsite presence. Any onsite functions must operate under the minimum universal obligations including having a COVIDSafe Plan in place.   

Can locksmiths, laundries and dry cleaners still operate?  

Yes. Locksmiths, laundries and dry cleaners are permitted to operate.  

Can a car wash in metropolitan Melbourne still operate?  

Car washes, including those operating as part of petrol stations, must not operate.    

Can any goods and equipment that have been dispatched, or are in process of being delivered, continue to be received?  

Goods and services can be transported and delivered if they are ordered online, or as a part of permitted workplace activity, or to meet safety and environmental obligations.  

Personal services 

What personal services are closed? 

Businesses providing personal care services where there is close contact are closed. 

This includes the following businesses: 

  • beauty therapy, spray-tanning, waxing and nail salons 
  • spa and massage services 
  • hairdressers and barbers 
  • tattoo and piercing services 
  • brothels and sexually explicit entertainment venues. 

When can beauty and personal service providers open? 

Businesses that provide beauty and personal services that can be completed while a face covering is worn for the duration of the service will be allowed to open under the Third Step.  

However, services such as facials, face tattoos, certain face piercings, and lip waxing, where it is not possible to wear a face covering will not be allowed. 

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

Only beauty and personal services where the client can wear a face covering for the entire duration of the service are allowed under the Third Step. For example these include nail services, ear piercing and body tattoos. Services such as facials, face tattoos, lip waxing, or certain face piercings where it is not possible to wear a face covering will not be allowed. 

Can home-based single-person hairdresser or personal care (beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries) services operate from home if they are sole traders?  

No. Hairdressers and personal care services in metropolitan Melbourne remain closed including those operating from a private residence as sole traders.   

Can hairdressers and personal care sole traders in Melbourne travel to clients in regional Victoria to provide services?  

No. Sole traders cannot travel to regional Victoria to provide services.  

How will the restrictions be enforced? 

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. 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 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 a direction by 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.