Victoria is opening up again after a 12-day lockdown, with some businesses surprised by the new restrictions.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the new lot of restrictions on Tuesday morning which would take effect at midnight.
The five reasons to leave home and five-kilometre radius restricting movement have been lifted with public gatherings of up to 10 people allowed, but home visits will still be banned.
Offices can have 25 per cent of their staff back, or up to 10 if the workplace is less than 40 people, with a density limit of one person per four square metres.
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Meanwhile, face masks will still need to be worn both indoors and outdoors.
Hospitality venues will be able to open to up to 100 people indoors and 300 people outdoors, with a density limit of one person per four square metres while venues under 100 square metres will operate with a hard cap of 25 people before the density limit applies.
Retail businesses can open up with the same density limit with shops under 100 square metres operating under the same hard cap.
Schools will reopen to all students, with masks required for those aged 12 or older.
Community sport will return for both adults and juniors, with both the Ballarat Football Netball League and Central Highlands football and netball leagues set to resume their season this weekend.
Commerce Ballarat chief executive Jodie Gillett said the new restrictions were a much better result for businesses than the slow move out of the last lockdown in June.
"It's pleasing, a much better result than what we had when we opened up last time and it seems to be quite clear that the health department is recognising that businesses are able to manage the health risks in their environment, which is fantastic," she said.
"We need to realise that for many venues, 100 patrons is a lot less than what they would normally have. For some of them, it's only a quarter of what they're actually licenced to have.
"Yes, it's pleasing that we have opened up with a higher patronage than we did last time, but we need to remember that in order for that recovery to commence, much higher patronage is required for businesses."
Ms Gillett said the mandatory use of a COVID check-in marshal front-facing businesses was a crucial element of the new rules.
"The government has found that because they've been able to do such accurate tracing through the COVID situation, this is what has allowed for the more relaxed opening than we had last time," she said.
However, for some businesses, the turnaround was too quick to reopen on Wednesday morning.
Nourished Ballarat owner Sally Bennett said she needed a day to be able reopen properly with the Mair Street cafe closed through lockdown.
"I have staff that I have to let know whether they have hours or not. Obviously, being a cafe, I have all fresh produce which I need to organise to get delivered," she said.
"Realistically, it probably needed to be delivered [Tuesday] if I was going to reopen [Wednesday] so that I've got time to prepare a whole cafe full of food because I haven't been trading for takeaway over the last week and a half.
"It means that I've had a cafe that hasn't had any stock in it and it just was too short notice, realistically, to plan to open tomorrow just in case Andrews decided that he wasn't going to reopen tomorrow. It was just too much of a risk to invest in getting fresh produce and all of my stock."
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