Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino has confirmed Melbourne will come out of its fourth lockdown at 11.59pm on Thursday 10 June, and also outlined the restrictions that will be in place.

Merlino said metropolitan Melbourne will move to almost the same settings currently in place across regional Victoria, and regional Victoria will move towards further easing.

The Acting Premier said: “From 11:59pm Thursday 10 June, the five reasons to leave home will no longer apply in metro Melbourne, and the existing 10-kilometre limit will be increased to 25 kilometres.

“But wherever possible, we’re asking people to stay local. That means the only reasons to go further than 25km will be work, education, care and caregiving, and getting vaccinated. And travel into regional Victoria to visit family and friends or take a holiday still remains a no go – for now.

“We’re also still not in a position to be able to have visitors to our home, but outdoor gatherings will be increased to a maximum of 10 people. And mask rules will be eased slightly – required inside, and outdoors when 1.5 metres isn’t possible.”

That means masks will still be required in venues, Merlino added: “Cafes, restaurants and pubs will open – with strict safety measures like density limits, seated service and QR codes in place. Remaining retail will also open.”

The National Retail Association (NRA) has welcomed news that Melbourne retailers will again be open for business from this Friday.

Victorian retailers have lost an estimated $2 billion over a 14-day period following the state being plunged into its fourth lockdown since the pandemic began.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that businesses across Australia’s second-largest state will be breathing a deep sigh of relief.

“COVID has wreaked havoc across Australia and the world, but Victoria has been dealt a particularly brutal blow,” Lamb said.

“Not only has it been the state’s fourth lockdown, but Victorian businesses have had to navigate this one without the JobKeeper safety net.

“The NRA estimates that the fourth Victorian lockdown has cost retail businesses a collective $2 billion over the 14-day stretch.”

Merlino added: “Today is a good day, there’s no doubt about it. And we should absolutely be proud of what we’ve all achieved – but let me just say this: It isn’t over yet, and until we have widespread vaccination, this virus will still be with us.

“We all know how fragile this thing is. We’ve seen how easily it can take hold. And if we allow complacency to creep back even a little, we could lose everything we’ve worked so hard to protect.

“There’s still work to do, there’s still our state to keep safe, and we’ll need every Victorian to help do just that.”

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