LOCKDOWN restrictions have been lifted in regional Victoria from today, following advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.

The good news comes as fears grew that there may be another COVID case in Mildura courtesy of a person who traveled to the region recently who upon returning to Melbourne tested for the virus.

With the easing of restriction the five reasons to leave the home have been removed.

There will be no limit on the distance regional Victorians can travel from home other than restrictions on entry to metropolitan Melbourne.

The Authorised Worker list will no longer apply in the regions, meaning most businesses and venues can reopen but with capacity and density limits.

If you can work from home you should work from home, but office workers will be able to return up to 25 per cent or up to 10 people, whichever is greater. What it means at a glance:

• Regional schools will reopen for onsite learning for Prep to Grade 2 and Year 12 students – remote learning will remain for all other levels.
• Funerals will be permitted for up to 20 people and weddings up to 10 people, plus those required to conduct the service.
• Hospitality including restaurants, cafes pubs and clubs can reopen for seated service with patron caps, allowing a maximum of 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors.
• Retail, hairdressing, entertainment venues and community facilities will also open.
• Real estate agents will be able to hold open for inspections with a maximum of 10 people plus the agent and auctions can resume with a maximum of 10 people.
• Indoor physical recreation and sport remains closed.
• Masks will continue to be required indoors and outdoors, apart from private residences, unless an exception applies.

Victoria Police will significantly expand their operation along the metropolitan border to protect regional Victoria.

Police will also be out in force in regional areas, conducting spot checks to ensure people from metropolitan Melbourne are not ‘leaking’ into the regions and posing a potential threat to regional Victoria’s hard won freedoms.

Given the strict limits applied to patron numbers many hospitality venues in Mildura are opening on a limited basis, or not at all.

Sandbar proprietor Malcolm Kalms confirmed that he will be re-opening:

“But with no gaming as only 10 permitted inside and so I’d rather 10 drinkers to pay the power bill!” he said.

“Ninety five per cent of my staff will be still out of work.”

Mario’s Sports Bar at the Grand Hotel will also only open the bar, with the bistro to remain closed.

The ‘Weekly understands that the Irymple Hotel and The Setts are opting to remain closed, each posting on social media that it wasn’t viable to operate under the new limits.