Fears about the Delta variant escaping uncontrolled in the regions have led to a more limited and "cautious" easing of restrictions in some areas, according to the state government.
The changes, to come into effect from 11.59pm Thursday, will remove the five reasons to leave the house restriction for all of regional Victoria except Shepparton, though masks will remain, people will not be able to visit each other's houses, and hospitality venues will be limited to 10 people inside and 20 people outside at a time.
Gyms will not reopen, and community sport will resume for training only, no competitions.
It's a contrast to the last time regional Victoria's restrictions were changed, with gyms and other indoor venues opening up more.
This time, there are fears of "aerosol transmission" in gyms and indoor venues, according to the state's public health policy and strategy deputy secretary Nicole Brady.
"It's the aerosol generation, the nature of activity inside gyms - People inhaling and exhaling with their masks off as they do the gym activity indoors is not something that's regarded as safe right now as we take that cautious step forward," she said in a press conference with regional reporters on Thursday.
It's similar for restrictions in restaurants - the public health team focus is focused on minimising time spent with masks off indoors, which includes visiting private homes where people may "drop their guard", not wearing masks or checking in.
"It's the aggregate risk, the number of people attending public places, cafes, hotels, shopping centres, is not the same as millions of people across the state interacting in each others' homes," Ms Brady added.
"It's less opportunity for the virus to spread with people out and about."
It was reiterated that people who live in regional Victoria will be free to move around the state, except for in Melbourne or Shepparton, and authorised worker permits will no longer be required, though concerns remain about people in the regions having to visit Melbourne for work then returning home.
Minister for Regional Development Maryanne Thomas said as with previous lockdowns, restrictions follow people wherever they go.
She alluded to further development on proposed vaccine passport trials in regional Victoria, but had no further information on timing or locations, stating only government departments were "working on it", and it could be part of the existing QR code check-in app.
"Our government agencies, Services Victoria, and our minister with responsibility for that agency, Danny Pearson, is working very hard with his interstate counterparts as well to establish the apps we'll need to make these things possible, and easy for event promoters and so on to implement," she said.
The lack of sporting competition will devastate community leagues - Ms Thomas said it was a "balancing act" from the public health team.
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"I understand this is disappointing for meany of our sporting leagues and regional, community sport, it's so important to so many of our communities, has been severely disrupted, most leagues were unable to have their finals," she said.
"I understand how challenging that is and how disappointing it is.
"We need to balance that need to give some people certainty and clarity about what the restrictions are, against an ongoing daily examination of case numbers, and this is always in the hands of the health team."
Both Ms Thomas and Ms Brody urged people to book a vaccine as soon as possible - vaccines are available through GPs, at some pharmacies, and through the state government's mass vaccination hub at the Mercure Hotel on Main Road.
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