'Ring of Steel' removed as Victoria goes 10 days with no new COVID-19 cases

'Ring of Steel' removed as Victoria goes 10 days with no new COVID-19 cases

The 'Ring of Steel' separating Melbourne from regional Victoria is no more and further COVID-19 restrictions have eased overnight as the state goes 10 days without any new cases of the virus.

As such, restrictions on households, pubs, gyms and other indoor spaces have eased, giving Melburnians even more freedoms as they get used to the 'new normal'.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the state "can be whole again" because of significant sacrifice.

At 11:59pm last night the boundary between Melbourne and regional Victoria came down.

The 25-kilometre limit on travel for those living in Melbourne is no longer in place, and rules that applied to regional Victorians now apply to everyone in the state.

For Melburnians that means restrictions on home visits are now relaxed somewhat.

While households can only have a maximum of two people visiting per day, those two people no longer need to come from the same household and they'll be able to come at different times.

"It's really important that people stick within these rules," Andrews said.

"The data is very clear on this: so many of our recent outbreaks were connected to home visits.

"Home is where we relax, where we feel comfortable which is precisely why it's so dangerous."

Restaurants, pubs and cafes are now able to host up to 40 customers indoors and 70 outdoors, and gyms can reopen with up to 20 patrons.

Indoor sport for those under 18 can recommence, and indoor religious ceremonies can host up to 20, with 50 allowed outside.

Those same numbers now apply to funerals, but there will be no changes to weddings just yet.

Community spaces including libraries, RSLs and neighbourhood houses can have up to 20 indoors.

Accommodation services can also reopen, and entertainment venues are able to reopen with 20 people per space.

"Frankly, Victorians have earned a break," Andrews said.

"That means movie theatres, galleries, museums and music halls will now be able to open."

In terms of aged care and hospitals, a single household can visit loved ones in those facilities once per day for two hours at a time.

"Individual hospitals and facilities though may continue to have their own policies reflecting the needs of their patients and whatever the virus might be doing in our community," Andrews said.

Victoria's State of Disaster will not be renewed, but the State of Emergency declaration will be extended until 6 December to allow the Chief Health Officer's directions to remain in force.

The next step of Victoria's easing roadmap will come into force on 22 November.

That will see private gatherings increase to 10 people, and hospitality venues will be allowed to have up to 100 indoors and 200 outside.

The Premier has also flagged capacity increases for other indoor venues like cinemas, gyms, and galleries at that time.

"We have worked so hard. We have given up so much. And together, we've come so far," Andrews said.

"We've got to protect it.

"So, let's stay safe, stay open and keep going."

Updated 9.46am AEDT on 9 November 2020.

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