Victoria’s COVID commander has confirmed there will be no “leave pass” for customers hoping to travel under curfew to get to pubs before the lockdown ends.
Melbourne’s controversial curfew will be lifted as the lockdown ends at 11.59pm on Thursday and residents will be able to travel between 9pm and 5am again.
Many pubs, restaurants and hairdressers had planned to open at midnight.
However, due to the fact that the curfew is still in place, customers can not actually leave their homes to travel to venues until after 11:59 p.m.
On Wednesday, Jeroen Weimar confirmed that this was the case.
“The curfew applies until midnight tomorrow night,” he said.
“There is no leave card between 9pm and midnight tomorrow night, so you will have to wait for the witch hour to hit and then you can get down to the local pub.”
Asked if police would issue fines to people on their way to a venue while the curfew remained in place, Weimar said it was a task for the chief commissioner.
“The real point for me is about what behaviors we want to encourage. We all want to be able to go and have a drink at midnight tomorrow. We will all enjoy the new freedoms, ”he said.
“But can we all just remember that this is an important step, it is not a day of mass freedom.”
While customers have to wait until midnight to leave their homes, hospitality staff can go to venues before the curfew is lifted to prepare for patrons.
From 11.59pm on Thursday, the lockdown will lift up with the state starting to open up with a new roadmap in place.
Ten people, including relatives, can visit private homes every day, and outdoor gatherings can include up to 15 people in the city of Melbourne and 20 in the regions.
There will no longer be limited reasons to leave the home and the curfew will end.
Pubs and restaurants can open to 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 outdoors.
Hairdressers and personal care can reopen for up to five fully vaccinated people.
Weddings and funerals in the city of Melbourne are allowed to continue with 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 outdoors. In the Victoria region, these limits will be slightly higher, with 30 mourners indoors and 100 outside.
Travel radius will be abolished, but movement between Melbourne and regional Victoria is still only for permissible reasons.