Lockdown eases across Victoria

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a visit to Geelong earlier this month. (Louisa Jones) 243047_05

By Luke Voogt

Restrictions will ease across Victoria at midnight following a reduction in community transmission of COVID-19, state government announced today.

From 11.59pm tonight Victorians will be able to leave their homes for any reason.

But home gatherings will continue to be prohibited due to a significant transmission risk, according to state government.

Masks will still be required indoors and outdoors, except for private residences or if an exception applies.

State government today cited a recent Burnet Institute study finding that masks played a significant role in slowing the spread of the virus in 2020 to justify the continued requirement.

Restaurants and cafes can reopen for seated service, and retail, beauty, personal care, entertainment and community venues will open in line with density limits.

Live music venues, dance classes and physical recreation facilities, including gyms, will reopen with density requirements of one person per four square metres.

Schools will reopen for onsite learning for all students tomorrow and offices can return to 25 per cent capacity or up to 10 people, whichever is greater.

But state government continues to advise that people who can work from home should work from home.

Checking into venues will continue to be mandatory.

The changes will allow public gatherings of up to 10 people, with infants under 12 months not included in the cap.

People will only be able to book accommodation with their household, intimate partner or another person in a ‘single-person bubble’ arrangement.

A maximum of 50 people will be able to attend weddings, while funerals will have limit of 50 mourners plus those conducting the service.

Premier Daniel Andrews praised “the incredible work our public health teams” and every Victorian who followed restrictions to help keep the community safe from coronavirus.

“To every Victorian who checked in with our QR system, who got tested and quarantined, and stayed home to slow the spread of this virus, thank you – it’s because of you we’ve able to get on top of this Delta outbreak and open up our state,” he said.

Thousands of Victorians who have either contracted the highly-infectious Delta variant, are close contacts or have visited exposure sites remain in quarantine today.

State government also announced a tightening of the NSW ‘cross-border bubble’ to prevent another significant incursion into Victoria, with high daily case numbers continuing in Sydney.