The sounds of “Cheers!” and clinking glasses will soon fill Victorian pubs again as coronavirus restrictions ease across the state next week.
Restrictions in New South Wales are also set to lift on Wednesday, July 1, allowing more people to come together and catch up at public venues.
On Sunday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that from Monday, June 22, pubs and clubs will be allowed to serve drinks without a meal for up to 50 people.
Cafes and restaurants will also be able to welcome up to 50 customers.
But safety rules still apply: Victorians must be willing to provide their contact details at the door before ordering a drink. And there will be no hugging mates on arrival.
A sneaky dance floor pash? Don’t even think about it.
Booking ahead is recommended as there will be strict limits on how many people can be seated at a table at any one time.
The 50-person limit will also apply to galleries, museums and amusement parks, as well as libraries, community centres, cinemas, concert venues, theatres and auditoriums.
Standalone TABs will also reopen, while TABs in pubs will need to adhere to venue restrictions on patron limits.
From Monday, July 20, pokies at pubs, clubs and the casino will reopen.
New South Wales
In NSW, the state government is going a step further than Victoria and scrapping the 50-person limit at indoor venues altogether from July 1.
Instead, venue owners must follow the one person per four square metres rule.
The rule, announced by the NSW government on Sunday, applies to most indoor venues including pubs and workspaces.
It will allow for more people to attend gatherings, but only if the size of the space allows for more people to attend under the one person per four square metres rule.
Outdoor cultural and sporting venues with a capacity of up to 40,000 will also be allowed to seat 25 per cent of their normal capacity from July 1.
There have now been 3120 cases of coronavirus in NSW, with 47 people being treated as of Saturday. No cases are in intensive care.
Sport and recreation in Victoria
Good news for fitness junkies: Gyms and indoor sports centres will reopen to 20 people per space from June 22, with group sessions limited to 10 people for people aged older than 18.
Teenagers and children aged 18 years and under will also be able to resume playing sport as training and competition reopens.
Non-contact sport will be allowed across all age groups.
Footy teams, soccer clubs and other contact sports will be able to resume training for over 18s from Monday, July 13.
From July 20, full competition can kick off.
Clubs and community facilities will be able to reopen their change-rooms for returning players.
Communal spaces like showers and kitchens will also reopen at holiday accommodation and camping sites.
The Victorian ski season will officially begin from June 22, with all accommodation given permission to reopen.
Victoria recorded nine new coronavirus cases since Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 1720.