First Step

11.59pm on 13 September 2020

First Step: Sport and exercise - metropolitan Melbourne

What does this mean I can do?

From 11:59 on Sunday 13 September restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne are changing:

  • Exercise is limited to a maximum of two hours per day, which can be split over a maximum of two sessions.
  • You need to stay within five kilometres from your home when exercising.
  • You can exercise with the members of your household or one other person you don’t live with. This can be a friend or family member.
  • Outdoor sport facilities are closed. Indoor sports centres including gyms, training facilities and pools are closed.
  • Outdoor playgrounds and outdoor gym equipment are open.
  • Community sport training and competition cannot occur.
Your questions answered

What activities are restricted?

Under First Step restrictions you can leave home to exercise but there are limits:

  • You must not travel more than 5km from where you live to exercise.
  • You can exercise with one friend from outside your home or the members of your household, as long as you don’t travel more than 5km from your home. Please use common sense and limit the number of people you see. It is safer to connect with friends and family using phone calls, social media and video calls. If you are exercising with someone else, you should keep 1.5 metres distance between you. Don’t hug, kiss or shake hands.
  • You can exercise twice a day and for up to two hours maximum in total. You can leave home twice a day to exercise or see one friend or family member you don’t live with outdoors.
  • You must be able to keep 1.5 metres distance between yourself and others. 
  • Indoor sports centres including gyms, training facilities and pools are closed.
  • Community sport training and competition cannot occur.
  • Outdoor sport facilities are closed. 
  • Swimming pools are closed.
  • Outdoor playgrounds and gym equipment are open.

Do I have to wear a face covering while exercising?

If you are doing exercise or a physical activity where you are out of breath or puffing, such as jogging or running, you do not need to wear a face covering. You must carry a face covering with you and wear it before and after you exercise.

If you are doing exercise or a physical activity where you are not out of breath or puffing, such as walking, then you must wear a face covering. 

If you have a lawful exemption such as a medical condition, where it would be dangerous for your breathing to be obstructed while walking around, then you do not need to wear a face covering.

It is important that you keep 1.5 metres between yourself and others while exercising, even when wearing a face covering.

For more information on face coverings visit the face coverings page.

Can I leave the house to exercise outdoors?

Yes. In metropolitan Melbourne you can leave your home to exercise outdoors in a public space. You can exercise alone, with one friend from outside your home or the members of your household.

You must limit your exercise to no more than twice a day and for a total of no more than two hours. You can only travel up to five kilometres from your home while exercising.

If you live in Regional Victoria, you cannot enter metropolitan Melbourne for the purpose of exercise or recreation.

If exercising with a person outside your household, you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and them.

Can I drive to a park within 5km of my home to exercise?

Yes, you can drive to a location such as a park or running track within 5km of your home to exercise. You cannot drive more than 5km from your home to exercise.

Can I exercise with others?

You can exercise outdoors with those you live with, or one other person from outside your home. This includes taking a walk or walking the dog, yoga in the park, running, or bike riding.

If you are exercising with a friend or family member you don’t live with, neither of you can travel more than 5km from your home. You should limit the number of people you see in person. It is safer to connect with friends and family using phone calls, social media and video calls. If you are exercising with someone else, you should keep 1.5 metres distance between you. Don’t hug, kiss or shake hands.

While exercising, you should keep at least 1.5 metres between yourself and others. You cannot exercise with another person in a manner that would mean you are less than 1.5m apart.

Can I take my children outside for exercise if I have already been out for exercise?

Yes. Everyone in metropolitan Melbourne is permitted to outdoor exercise.

Wherever possible though, families should exercise together – reducing the time spent away from home. Reducing our movement is vital to helping reduce the spread of the virus.

If this is absolutely not possible, parents or carers of children can take their children for active outdoor play outside the home. This can be separate to the two hours of exercise allowed for parents or carers each day – if necessary due to work, care arrangements or other specific needs.

From 11:59pm on 13 September outdoor playgrounds can open.

Can I participate in community sport?

No. You cannot participate in community sport.

Can I leave metropolitan Melbourne to exercise?

No, you cannot leave metropolitan Melbourne to exercise.

You must limit your exercise to twice a day and for no more than two hours in total. You can only travel up to five kilometres from your home while exercising.

My favourite walking track is on the other side of the city. Can I still go there?

No. You must limit your exercise to twice a day and for no more than two hours in total. You can only travel up to five kilometres from your home while exercising. Victorians must use common sense and consideration when it comes to their activities. Lives are counting on it.

Can I train with a personal trainer outdoors?

No, you cannot train with a personal trainer outdoors. Personal trainers are not permitted workers in metropolitan Melbourne.

Can I go to my gym/theatre/business venue to livestream a performance or record classes/sessions?

No. You cannot attend your workplace for the purpose of a livestream. The only reason you can leave home to conduct a livestream is for a religious ceremony or service.

Are indoor sport facilities closed?

Yes. In metropolitan Melbourne, gyms, pools, health clubs, class-based fitness, studios, barre, spin facilities and indoor personal training facilities are closed.

Are outdoor sport facilities closed?

In metropolitan Melbourne, outdoor sport facilities are closed. Open public spaces like an oval can be used to exercise.

Outdoor recreation - including, golf, fishing, hunting, recreational driving, recreational flying, recreational boating and personal watercraft use – are not a permitted reason to leave home.

Can I attend boot camp?

No. You cannot participate in group fitness activities, including boot camps. 

Are swimming pools closed?

Swimming pools, saunas and spas in metropolitan Melbourne are closed.

Can I play golf?

No. Under current restrictions, golf is not a permitted reason to leave home.

If you live in metropolitan Melbourne, you cannot travel to play golf outside this area.

Are playgrounds and skate parks open?

From 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September outdoor playgrounds will open.  Skate parks will remain closed.

Is outdoor communal gym equipment open?

From 11:59pm on Sunday 13 September outdoor gym equipment will open.

Can I go to the beach?

Yes, if there is a beach within 5km from your home. You can go to the beach for exercise only. Exercise is limited to twice a day and for no more than two hours.  You may swim or surf at the beach as long the beach is within 5km of your home.

Can I go to the park?

Yes, if there is a park within 5km from your home. You can go to the park for exercise by yourself, with one friend from outside your home or the members of your household.

You must limit your exercise to twice a day and for no more than two hours. You can only travel up to five kilometres from your home while exercising.

Can I go to a dog park?

Yes, if there is a dog park or off-leash area within 5km from your home. If you live in metropolitan Melbourne you can only walk around a dog park by yourself, with the members of your household, or with one other person. Keep away from other people by maintaining a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres.

I have a dog and don’t have a backyard. Can I take him for a bathroom break?

You may leave your home to take your dog for a bathroom break. However, you should stay as close to your home as possible and return as soon as your dog has relieved itself. You should seek to minimise separate trips as much as possible, so consider taking your dog out when you exercise or shop for necessary good and services. For the purposes of caring for an animal you may leave your home. You must wear a face covering, unless an exemption applies.

Can I undertake recreational activities like fishing?

No. Outdoor recreational activities like fishing are not a permitted reason to leave home.

Can I go horse-riding if I live in metropolitan Melbourne?

No. Outdoor recreational activities like horse riding are not a permitted reason to leave home. If you are at home, on your property or place of agistment, you can ride your horse. Where this is not possible, and there are safety or animal welfare concerns, you may exercise the horse outside of your property.

Can I ride a horse for the purpose of exercising the animal?

You should exercise the horse on your own property or place of agistment. At this stage we are asking everyone to stay as close to home as possible. Where possible, seek help from other people to exercise a horse if you live more than 5km away. Where this is not possible due to safety or animal welfare concerns, you may exercise the horse outside of your property or agistment, but you should limit it to once a day.

Horse riding as an outdoor recreational activity is not a permitted reason to leave home.

Can I play professional sports?

If you live in metropolitan Melbourne, you may continue to play professional sports.

Currently, professional sports have access to otherwise restricted facilities for the purpose of training and engaging in professional sporting events. Facilities must be used for the exclusive use of a single professional sporting team at a time. Guidelines have been developed for professional sports.

The professional nature of these sports means that there are more processes and resources in place to ensure that players and officials conduct activities in a safe way that slows the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is why professional teams are currently allowed to undertake more activities than community sports.

I have a child who is not young, but who requires additional supervision. Can I bring them with me if I exercise with a friend?

If there’s no one at home who can look after someone who needs additional supervision, then they can come with you. You can take anyone who cannot be left home unattended to accompany you on your daily exercise.

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