How Victorians can safely give 2020 the send-off it deserves

Like most things in 2020, Victoria's New Years Eve celebrations are going to look radically different to past years.

With no fireworks over Melbourne CBD, venues with density limits and restrictions on how many people you can have at your home, you'll need to plan for a New Years Eve that goes off without a hitch. Here's what you need to know.

There will be no official firework display to see in the new year in Melbourne.Credit:Craig Sillitoe

How many people can I have at my home?

If you're thinking of throwing a party, you'll have to keep your guest list exclusive this year. Victorians are allowed to have a maximum of 30 visitors to their homes per day. And if the 30 visitors are there at midnight, that's your quota for January 1 as well.

Front and backyards are considered part of the home, so a barbecue out the back with 50 of your closest friends is out of the question. But there's no limit to how many households those 30 people can come from and infants under one year old are not included in the cap on visitors.

Health Minister Martin Foley confirmed on Monday there would be no changes to Victoria’s restrictions for New Year’s Eve.

Health Minister Martin Foley on Monday. Credit:Penny Stephens

"We know that the weather's going to be a little bit chillier this New Year’s Eve. So we want to make sure that, firstly, if you're not feeling well, stay home," Mr Foley said.

"If you’re having people around your house, remember those COVID-safe rules. No more than 30 at your private residence."

What are the rules if I'm going to a venue?

Victorian restaurants, pubs and clubs are still subject to density limits of two square metres per person. But there are no limits on customers, depending on how big the venue is.

You can go out and have fun, but you might need to book ahead.Credit:Luis Enrique Ascui

Only 50 people can cut loose on the dance floor at once.

Venues are required to keep records of who visits, whether electronically or with pen and paper, so make sure you sign in and out of any place you visit on New Year's Eve.

Seated entertainment venues, such as cinemas, can have up to 75 per cent of fixed seated capacity, with a maximum patron cap of 1000 people.

The density limits that apply to hospitality venues also apply for seated venues in the foyer and bathrooms.

Lord mayor Sally Capp announcing the City of Melbourne’s plans for New Year’s Eve last month. Credit:Chris Hopkins

"Fireworks are fun to watch, but we just couldn't risk drawing up to 400,000 into the city this year," Cr Capp said.

"We've come up with a way to safely ring in the new year so you don't have to spend the night on the couch with takeaway."

The City of Melbourne is hosting a two-day outdoor dining festival to make up for the loss of the fireworks. The CBD will be divided into 11 precincts, with traffic blocked and diners spilling out onto roads and laneways for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

You can read more about what's on across Melbourne here.

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