Celebrating The New Year In A COVIDSafe Way

29 December 2020

New Year’s Eve will look a little different this year, with the Andrews Labor Government working closely with Victoria Police, emergency services and local government to ensure celebrations across the state are COVIDSafe.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville today joined City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp and members of our police and emergency services sector to urge Victorians to ring in the New Year responsibly.

We understand that Victorians are looking forward to celebrating the end of this difficult year – but this must be done in a COVIDSafe way, in line with the current directions issued by the Chief Health Officer.

Victoria Police will be out in force this New Year’s Eve protecting the community and enforcing COVIDSafe practices such as physical distancing, the wearing of face masks on public transport and people limits for public gatherings.

With the annual fireworks drawing crowds of up to 400,000 people into the CBD, this event cannot safely form part of the celebrations this year. Instead, Victorians are being asked to find other ways to celebrate the end of 2020 – whether it’s at home, with friends and family, or at a ticketed event.

People should only come to the city if they have a booking for a ticketed event. This is the best way to reduce the number of people in the city and prevent large gatherings that cannot be safely distanced.

Businesses are also reminded of their responsibility to provide a COVIDSafe environment for their workers and customers by adhering to distancing requirements and keeping thorough records of all visitors to their premises.

Uniform and plain clothes police will continue to carry out extra patrols across the Melbourne CBD, regional towns and along coastal areas, targeting anti-social behaviour, violence and drink and drug driving. Frontline police will be supported by the Air Wing, Dog Squad, Public Order Response Team, Mounted Branch and Water Police.

Mobile Protective Services Officers (PSOs) will be deployed on trains and at train stations around Melbourne and key regional hubs, including Geelong, Ballarat, Frankston, Bendigo and Traralgon.

Marked and unmarked vehicles will be out on Victoria’s roads as part of Operation Roadwise, targeting motorists who are drug and alcohol affected, speeding, driving dangerously, using their phones or distracted.

A number of road closures will be in place across the CBD and Southbank to support the extended outdoor dining activities including the New Year Street Feasts, delivered as part of the $100 million Melbourne City Recovery Fund. Information on Melbourne’s COVIDSafe New Year’s Eve festivities can be found at Link .

Quotes attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville

“This has been a year like no other – and while many Victorians will be looking forward to farewelling 2020, we urge everyone to think about the best way they can ring in the New Year in a COVIDSafe way.”

“It’s great to see so many businesses and community organisations from all over Victoria stepping up to the challenge and organising ticketed events, which can ensure appropriate distancing and hygiene are maintained.”

“Our dedicated police officers and emergency services workers will be out in force right across the state – keeping the community safe and targeting those who are doing the wrong thing.”

Reviewed 29 December 2020

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