Victoria’s State government has implemented a ‘circuit breaker’ snap lockdown to keep COVID-19 infection numbers down after working to eradicate the virus in 2020. This includes limiting non-essential travel further than 5 kilometres.
Thankfully, there’s a tool that will easily help you figure out what is included in your 5KM radius.
Solving where you can go during the Victoria COVID-19 lockdown
That’s why François Petitjean decided to create Melbourne Friend Zone.
It’s a tool that shows areas that overlap between multiple radiuses over a map of Melbourne and Victoria — but also can be used just to figure out what’s permitted under the rules.
Petitjean got the idea when Premier Dan Andrews announced the state’s roadmap out of restrictions back in 2020.
“I saw myself wanting to know which friends I could meet where. I found it a bit tricky and I’m pretty good with tech,” he said to Gizmodo Australia in a Twitter DM.
So Petitjean asked a couple of developer friends (all French expats!) over last Saturday to see if they could thrash out the tool, which they launched shortly after.
Initially, the tool only offered the ability to show the overlapping 5km circles. But the team kept having ideas for how to improve it.
“Once we had the first version with basic functions, we kept thinking “oh what about we add BBQs?” Petitjean said.
“Then I chatted with a work colleague who was telling me how playgrounds had reopened and the relief it brought to parents. And so we added playground locations as well,” he said.
Since it launched, thousands of people have used it to find out where they can meet in Victoria under the COVID-19 restrictions. Petitjean said he’s chuffed with the uptake.
“This is a very simple website, but we were very keen to help the community,” he said. “But we were happily surprised to see the uptake and the lovely messages on Twitter.”
And while you can’t meet people at the moment — the tool still works for figuring out what’s in your 5KM radius.
Updated on 12/02/21 for new Victorian COVID-19 rules.