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No limits: Victoria ends last of its restrictions, despite 1007 new cases

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Victoria will scrap almost all remaining Covid-19 public health restrictions from midnight as it races towards 90 per cent double-dosed vaccination.

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From Friday, fully vaccinated Victorians will be able to dance in clubs, there will be no home visitor limits and no density limits for cafes and restaurants.

“You will be able to go back to normal,” Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Thursday.

“Victoria, like nowhere else in the country, has earned these freedoms.”

Non-essential retail will join the state’s vaccinated economy, meaning only fully vaccinated people can visit shops unless they are aged under 12 years and two months or have a valid exemption.

Masks will no longer be required for customers visiting hospitality venues, however workers must continue wearing them.

However, Victorians will need to continue wearing masks for a few more weeks in retail settings, on public transport and for primary school staff, visitors and students in years three to six.

From December 15 retail customers will no longer need to wear masks, unless there is a significant jump in hospitalisations.

Indoor events can host up to 30,000 punters, however one-off approval is needed to exceed that capacity.

Events held outdoors can exceed 30,000 attendees if they publish their COVIDSafe plans.

The changes mean the Boxing Day Test and Australian Open will be able to proceed at full capacity, subject to approval of the MCG and Melbourne Park’s plans.

People who attend weddings, funerals and places of worship that do not check vaccination statuses will be required to wear masks and be subject to density limits.

There will also be changes to isolation rules, with anyone who comes in contact with a confirmed virus case outside their home not required to self-quarantine.

Close contacts must, however, get a PCR test and isolate until they receive a negative result.

The quarantine change means businesses will no longer have to deep clean their premises after a positive case, or ask the department of health for approval.

Victoria is now 88 per cent double-vaccinated in those aged over 12 and is expected to hit 90 per cent this weekend.

It comes as the state recorded 1007 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths on Thursday, the first time in five days the state’s daily tally has risen above 1000 cases.

There are 337 virus patients in hospital, with 63 actively infected with COVID-19 in ICU, 65 have been cleared, and 34 on ventilators.

Health officials say virus testers processed 72,270 results on Wednesday and 6315 people were vaccinated at state-run hubs.

NSW has recorded 262 new cases of COVID-19 and three deaths.

The number of cases diagnosed in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday was up by 31 from the previous day.

The cases were diagnosed from 80,402 tests.

It’s the third consecutive day that numbers have inched higher, after Premier Dominic Perrottet on Wednesday warned that NSW residents should expect cases and hospitalisations to increase.

 

 

 

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