Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has reassured Melburnians they won't have to wait until 2021 before they can travel to regional areas.
A so-called "ring of steel" separating metropolitan Melbourne from Ballarat and regional Victoria remains in place despite an easing in coronavirus restrictions in the city on Sunday night.
Mr Andrews wants that restriction and others eased before Christmas, but the premier has yet to commit to a date.
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Shepparton and Kilmore have been mopping up outbreaks in recent weeks after a COVID-positive truck driver from Melbourne stopped in the regional centres.
Ballarat has not had an active infection for about five weeks.
Even as COVID-19 case numbers narrow, the premier said feedback from regional Victorians was clear.
"They don't want a situation where that's put at risk by people making trips to into regional Victoria that aren't absolutely necessary," Mr Andrews told reporters on Monday.
"There will come a time when you can have that discretionary trip - see family, see friends ... go and spent money in wonderful tourist locations - but that isn't yet."
It came as the premier conceded New Zealanders can enter Victoria despite the state not signing up to be a part of a trans-Tasman travel bubble.
About 65 Kiwis have travelled from Sydney on to Melbourne since the arrangement began on Friday.
Mr Andrews maintains the federal government did not inform him New Zealanders arriving in Sydney were entitled to travel beyond the participating states of the NSW, ACT and Northern Territory.
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services' website has now been updated to accommodate the new situation.
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Meanwhile, people living in Melbourne can now travel 25km from home and have greater freedom when it comes to social activities and exercise.
Hairdressers and other industries can also operate for the first time in months.
While retail and hospitality venues have to wait until November 2 before they can reopen, Mr Andrews said the date could be brought forward if case numbers remained low.
The premier hit back at federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, accusing him of politicking after suggesting the state government had "callous indifference" to small businesses.
Victoria recorded four new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the city's 14-day rolling average down to 7.2.
A further death took the state's death toll to 817 and the national figure to 905.
Changes in effect from now for regional Victoria
- Hospitality venues can increase their capacity to 40 people (four groups of 10) inside and 70 people outside
- Two adults and dependents will be able to visit a home once a day - there will no longer be a social 'bubble' where you have to nominate just one household. Infants under 12 months are not included in this cap
- Libraries will reopen with a maximum of 20 people
- Outdoor religious gatherings up to 20 people (and 50 from November 1) - infants under 12 months not included in cap
- Indoor pools will open for people aged 18 and under for up to 20 swimmers
- One-on-one hydroptherapy will be allowed
- Households can visit care facilities (rather than one person at a time)
- Outdoor contact and non-contact sport: allowed for people 18 and under - Limited to minimum number of people to play and facilitate the activity (e.g. cricket may be played with two teams of eleven players and the necessary coaching personnel and umpires)
- Outdoor non-contact sport: allowed for adults - Limited to minimum number of people to play and facilitate the activity (e.g. cricket may be played with two teams of eleven players and the necessary coaching personnel and umpires) - Non-contact means participants must be able to maintain distance of 1.5m
- 'Ring of steel' to continue and being 'strengthened' according to the premier
Changes to come into effect from Wednesday
- Melbourne residents who own a house in regional Victoria can apply to regional councils for a permit so they can visit to prepare their homes for floods and fire. Read more about it HERE.
Changes to come into effect from November 1
- Non-contact indoor sport for under-18s - such as dance classes - will resume for up to 20 people
- Non-contact indoor community sport for under 18-year-olds: spectators limited to one parent, guardian or carer per child
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