From 11:59pm tonight, Victoria is expected to enter the last step on its coronavirus roadmap to reopening.
The last step is the final stage of restrictions before reaching ‘COVID normal’.
Premier Daniel Andrews will hold a press conference at 10:30am AEDT today.
Based on the summary of restrictions published by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), and the Premier’s recent comments that he’s confident the flagged changes will be delivered, here’s some of what we’re likely to see.
Household visitors and private gatherings
The roadmap says that Victorians will be able to have up to 10 visitors their home from tomorrow.
This also means there will be more freedom around who can holiday together.
Accommodation will fall in line with private gatherings, meaning 10 people from any number of households can book a holiday rental together.
Public gatherings outdoors will increase to 50 people from any number of households.
There should also be more freedom around who can visit a care home, with the number of visitors expected to increase to up to five people from two households, with no time limits, and children will be allowed.
Residents may also go out on excursions but individual care facilities may need to implement their own rules, which could differ from the statewide guidelines.
Gyms and sport
More people will be able to enjoy indoor physical recreation, which includes contact and non-contact sport, gym classes and personal training.
The patron cap will increase to 100 people, and group or classes will be capped at 20 people, provided the space is large enough to meet a density quotient of one person per four-square-metres.
It should also be easier to get a spot at your local pool, with the patron cap for indoor pools increasing to 50 swimmers, and outdoor pools having no patron cap at all.
But both indoor and outdoor pools will still face a density quotient of no more than one swimmer per four-square-metres.
Outdoor sport and recreation, whether it’s contact or non-contact, are also expected to increase to a patron cap of 500, and individual groups of no more than 50 people.
Large sporting venues could also open to 25 per cent of their capacity, with each space subject to the one person per four-square-metre rule.
Indoor skateparks, trampoline centres and play centres are also expected to increase their patron cap to 50.
Cafes, restaurants and pubs that can comply with the indoor density limit of one person per four-square-metres will be able to welcome more diners.
Indoor venues will be capped at 100, with a maximum group size of 20.
Outdoors the limit will be increased to 200 people per venue, with a density limit of one person per two-square-metres, meaning large hospitality venues with good outdoor areas could welcome up to 300 people at one time.
Indoor food courts however, will be limited to 50 per cent capacity, or a density quotient of one person per eight-square-metres, whichever results in the smaller number.
No more than four people, plus dependents, are allowed per table.
Outdoor food courts are limited to 50 people per area, with a maximum of 20 people per table.
Cinemas, theatres and museums
Indoor seated venues, such as cinemas and theatres, should be able to increase their numbers to 100 people per space and up to 20 people per booking.
The density limit will be one person per four-square-metres and venues probably won’t be able to seat more than 25 per cent of their maximum capacity.
Museums and galleries, where people are free to move around, should also be covered by the same limits.
Arcades, amusement parks, escape rooms, electronic gaming and bingo centres are also expected to come under the same rules.
The roadmap states there will be no change to the mandatory wearing of face coverings.
But as we know, the roadmap is a guide and not set in stone.
Both Mr Andrews and Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng have flagged that while masks are here to stay long-term, due to their relatively low cost and high benefit, there may be some small changes to the rules in the near future.
That could include not having to wear a mask when alone outdoors.
However, from Monday, masks will be able to be removed by customers when necessary to undergo hair and beauty procedures such as facial waxing, facials, beard trimmings and piercings around the mouth, nose and cheeks.
Community centres, libraries and religious centres
The limits at community centres, libraries, toy libraries and indoor religious gatherings are expected to increase to groups of no more than 20 people, with the total number of patrons capped at 100.
Outdoor religious ceremonies should increase to groups of 50, in line with public gatherings, with a total venue cap at 500.
Weddings and funerals
Weddings will see a significant boost with up to 100 people allowed to attend, provided the venue meets the density quotient of one person per four-square-metres.
Funerals should be the same.
Unless the wedding or funeral is being held at a private residence, in which case, the private gathering limits of no more than 10 people will apply.
For the first time since the lockdown, the Government is expected to confirm that strip clubs and brothels will be allowed to reopen, but COVID-safe requirements will apply.
The plan suggests up to 20 people will be able to attend real estate inspections and up to 50 people at outdoor auctions.
What will Christmas Day look like?
Nobody knows yet what to expect from Christmas.
All states and territories, except for WA, had previously committed to having their borders open by December 25. But the recent coronavirus outbreak in South Australia and the rapid introduction of border changes have highlighted how quickly the situation can change.
There’s an expectation that Victoria will move to the ‘COVID normal’ part of the roadmap by Christmas, which would allow for larger family gatherings.
In fact, the Premier has already said that he expects you will be able to have more than 10 people seated around the table on Christmas Day.
But just how many people we’ll be able to welcome into our homes is yet to be decided.
We are expecting more details about what Mr Andrews expects a COVID-safe Christmas might look like in Victoria at his press conference today.