Australians had been slowly emerging from Covid-19 lockdowns since the federal government announced a three-stage plan in May to ease restrictions across the country, but from 8 July the Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell shire immediately to the north returned to a stage three lockdown for six weeks.
After consistently high case numbers despite the lockdown, the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, announced further restrictions for the state. From 2 August, metropolitan Melbourne entered a six-week stage four lockdown.From midnight on Wednesday, 15 September, regional Victoria will be subject to step three restrictions.
Here we try to answer some of the most common questions people have about the laws in each state, based on the information current as of 15 September.
These answers should not be treated as legal advice. This article will be updated as new restrictions are announced, implemented, or repealed.
Victoria coronavirus outbreak: what are the rules and do they apply to me?
Melbourne entered stage four restrictions from 6pm on Sunday 2 August, a statewide mandatory mask policy took effect from midnight Sunday 2 August. From midnight on Wednesday 15 September, regional Victoria will move to step 3 restrictions.
You can read all about the rules and recommendations around masks here.
You can read all about Melbourne stage 4 restrictions and coronavirus lockdown rules here.
You can read all about regional Victoria stage 3 coronavirus restrictions and lockdown rules here.
Details on restrictions in other states and territories can be found below.
How many people can I have over at my house?
New South Wales – On Sunday 19 July, the government issued advice asking people not to host, or go to, a gathering of more than 10 people at home. But the law in NSW currently allows 20 people from different households to visit. There is no limit to the number of guests you can have over per day, as long as there are no more than 20 at a time and guests can stay overnight.