How today’s new rules affect your New Year’s Eve celebrations

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

And after Victoria recorded an additional six COVID-19 cases across the 24 hours to 10.30am on Thursday, big changes to the number of people you can have at home have been announced.

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

With no fireworks over Melbourne CBD and density limits applying in venues, you'll need to plan for a New Year's Eve that goes off without a hitch. Here's what you need to know.

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. Following changes that come into force on Thursday at 5pm, Victorians are allowed to have a maximum of 15 visitors to their homes per gathering.

The Age is still trying to confirm whether Victorians can only have a maximum of 15 people at their homes across one entire day.

Front and backyards are considered part of the home, so a barbecue out the back with 30 of your closest friends is out of the question. But there's no limit to how many households those 15 people can come from and infants under one year old are not included in the cap on visitors.

Mask rules have also been changed. Victorians are now required to wear a mask at all times indoors, including at other people's homes, except when eating and drinking.

Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said on Thursday said it was a "rampant and difficult virus, and it does not end at midnight".

"We do apologise to people who have put plans in place, who were looking forward to having events in their home, or in other people's homes, but this is a necessary step, it is on the advice that we have received," she said.

"If you are planning to leave your home at the moment, we ask people to carry their masks with them, we are now asking them to wear a mask if they are indoors in any location which is not their private home."

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.

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

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

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.

Keep in mind, as of Thursday at 5pm, you'll be expected to wear your mask inside except if eating or drinking.

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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