The Victorian Government has announced COVID-19 restrictions are being updated to ensure Victorians enjoy more freedoms this festive season, while the Omicron variant is monitored and investigated.

After consideration of advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Minister for Health Martin Foley will today sign pandemic orders under the new Public Health and Wellbeing Act.

The pandemic orders, which will take effect from 11.59pm tonight, Wednesday 15 December and will be in place until 11.59pm on 12 January 2022, update the current COVIDSafe Settings. This will include:

  • The mandatory vaccination requirement will be removed for all customers in retail, except hair and beauty services, and will also be removed in real estate, places of worship, weddings and funerals. Face masks will be still required for customers and workers in retail settings.
  • Restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs are still only open to fully vaccinated patrons and staff. Workers are required to wear face masks.
  • People under 18 will no longer be required to show proof of their vaccination status at all venues, including hospitality.
  • Face masks no longer need to be worn at weddings, funerals or ceremonial settings. If these events are held at places of worship, there will not be any vaccination requirements or limits on participants, nor any requirement to check vaccination status. If the ceremony is at a hospitality setting, vaccine requirements will apply.
  • Workplaces exposed to a positive COVID-19 case will no longer need to be deep cleaned.
  • Tour and transport operators, gyms and creative arts premises, such as theatres and cinemas, will not need to clean equipment between users.

Workplaces still need to maintain their COVIDSafe Plan.

All Victorians who are eligible for a booster are urged to book an appointment as soon as possible. COVID-19 booster doses are recommended for anyone aged 18 and over who had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine five or more months ago. You can get a COVID-19 booster dose from a GP or pharmacy, or a Victorian vaccination centre.

For more information, including advice for workplaces with a confirmed COVID-19 case, please go to coronavirus.vic.gov.au

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