Melbourne ends its 112-day lockdown as of Wednesday, with the city officially entering the third step of restrictions easing.

On Monday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the lifting of Melbourne’s severe coronavirus restrictions.

‘With zero cases and so much testing over the weekend... we are able to say that now is the time to open up,’ said Premier Daniel Andrews.

In July, Victoria saw cases surge to more than 700 per day but the severe lockdown measures brought numbers down, with zero positive cases recorded this week.

Now as of 28 October, people can leave their homes for any reason and retail stores, cafes, restaurants and bars will re-open. Groups will be limited to 10 patrons indoors. Household visits will be allowed, and outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people can take place.

As the city slowly begins re-opens, residents are breathing a sigh of relief at low case numbers providing the opportunity to visit loved ones. And we may gather once more at our churches places of worship.

Under the new restrictions, up to 10 people plus one faith leader will be allowed to gather for indoor religious gatherings, and up to 20 people plus one faith leader allowed to gather outdoors.

However, there remains a distinct lack of parity for faith communities. From 8 November, cafes and pubs can host up to 40 patrons inside while the limit for places of worship—which are often big enough to host double the capacity of a cafe—remains capped at 20.

We invite you to contact your local MPs and speak out on this continued lack of parity