Front and backyards are considered part of the home, so a barbecue out the back with 50 of your closest friends is out of the question. But there’s no limit to how many households those 30 people can come from and infants under one year old are not included in the cap on visitors.
Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed on Monday there would be no changes to Victoria’s restrictions for New Year’s Eve.
“We know that the weather’s going to be a little bit chillier this New Year’s Eve. So we want to make sure that, firstly, if you’re not feeling well, stay home,” Mr Foley said.
“If you’re having people around to your house, remember those COVID-safe rules. No more than 30 at your private residence.”
What are the rules if I’m going to a venue?
Victorian restaurants, pubs and clubs are still subject to density limits of two square metres per person. But there are no limits on customers, depending on how big the venue is.
Only 50 people can cut loose on the dance floor at once.
Venues are required to keep records of who visits, whether electronically or with pen and paper, so make sure you sign in and out of any place you visit on New Year’s Eve.
Seated entertainment venues, such as cinemas, can have up to 75 per cent of fixed seated capacity, with a maximum patron cap of 1000 people.
The density limits that apply to hospitality venues also apply for seated venues in the foyer and bathrooms.
Mr Foley said police would be out in force on Thursday night, ensuring venues were following the rules.
“Victoria Police will be out and about making sure that public venues are safe, and I would urge all Victorians to keep a COVID-safe New Year’s Eve and a COVID-safe summer, so we can continue to progress with the impressive work we’ve done,” he said.
And don’t forget to bring a mask – they’re still required on public transport across Victoria, in ride-share vehicles and other situations where you can’t social distance.
Are big outdoor gatherings OK?
If you’re hoping to catch up in one of Melbourne’s public parks, up to 100 people can meet outdoors in a public place under current COVID-19 rules.
Infants under 12 months are excluded from the 100-person cap for public gatherings.
Don’t forget to wash your hands regularly, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and get tested and stay home if you have even mild cold-like symptoms.
Can we go into the city streets and party?
The annual fireworks display in the city has been called off. Lord mayor Sally Capp has said the decision was an attempt to manage crowd sizes and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
“Fireworks are fun to watch, but we just couldn’t risk drawing up to 400,000 into the city this year,” Cr Capp said.
“We’ve come up with a way to safely ring in the new year so you don’t have to spend the night on the couch with takeaway.”
The City of Melbourne is hosting a two-day outdoor dining festival to make up for the loss of the fireworks. The CBD will be divided into 11 precincts, with traffic blocked and diners spilling out onto roads and laneways for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
You can read more about what’s on across Melbourne here.
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Ashleigh McMillan is a breaking news reporter at The Age. Got a story? Email me at email@example.com
Michael is a state political reporter for The Age.