It’s confirmed: Victoria’s fifth lockdown to end tonight but heavy restrictions remain

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It’s confirmed: Victoria’s fifth lockdown to end tonight but heavy restrictions remain

Masks, visitor restrictions, harsh density limits and patron caps remain in place.

Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed that the state’s extended lockdown will end at 11.59pm tonight, following Victoria’s record 10 locally acquired COVID-19 cases, all of which were linked to the outbreak and were in quarantine throughout their infectious period.

Zero cases were detected in hotel quarantine and there are currently 198 active cases of coronavirus across the state. Those numbers are off the back of yesterday’s 24,340 tests.

The premier Daniel Andrews and his most senior ministers met for a final discussion this morning to finalise eased rules this morning ahead of the announcement, and while it’s good news in part, the premier revealed it will be a conservative easing of restrictions given the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

“I want to thank all the public health team, contact traders, the whole team who have done an amazing job, worked very hard to not only run alongside and keep pace with this outbreak but to get out in front of it,” Andrews said.

“It is because of their hard work that we are able to make some significant announcements today.

“It is also because of the hard work of every Victorian, following the rules, getting tested even with the mildest of symptoms, playing your part to keep your family safe and every family safe, and for us to get through this.”

The key takeaways

  • Victoria’s ‘circuit-breaker’ coronavirus lockdown is to end tonight as planned
  • Tough restrictions are to remain, including no visitors and harsh density limits
  • Health officials want some restrictions to remain in place until vaccination rates are vastly improved

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Andrews confirmed that Victoria’s fifth lockdown will end on Tuesday at 11.59pm with the five reasons to leave home removed, 5km travel limit scrapped, schools returning to face-to-face learning for all year levels, however, no visitors will be permitted at homes.

“So a lot of good news in today’s announcements, I know that’s not the news people want to hear but it incredibly important that we regard home as what it is, it is in many respects from a transmission of this virus point of view, the highest risk environment. So no visitors to your home for the next two weeks,” Andrews says.

From 11:59pm tonight for a period of two weeks:

  • No visitors to homes
  • The 5km limit has lifted completely
  • Pubs, restaurants, cafe’s and bars will open with 100 inside and 300 outside for seated service, identity quotient of one person per square metres
  • Retail and gyms can reopen with a density limit of 1 person for every 4 square metres, as will entertainment venues and community facilities (live music venues, dance classes and physical recreation facilities)
  • All students can return to the classroom tomorrow
  • Community sport can resume
  • Ski fields will be open but require a negative test to enter
  • Masks remain mandatory indoors and outdoors, with the requirement to wear them inside expected to continue for a long time.
  • Travel is only permitted with people from your own home (so no shared holidays)
  • Victorians will again be allowed to gather in public in groups of up to 10
  • Victoria will return to the rule that ‘if you can work from home, you should work from home’ but office workers will be able to return up to 25 per cent or up to 10 people, whichever is greater.
  • A maximum of 50 people will be permitted at weddings.
  • Funerals will also have a cap of 50 mourners, plus those conducting the funeral.

Premier Dan Andrews has also announced harder border restrictions with New South Wales. He says residents of the NSW local government areas of Wagga Wagga, Hay, Lockhart and Murrumbidgee will no longer be in the border bubble and will have to apply for a permit if they wish to travel to Victoria.

Andrews says the new restrictions will be in place for two weeks.

“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,” Andrews says.

The statewide lockdown was imposed on July 15 due to an outbreak of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant, which originated from cases in NSW. The lockdown was originally meant to go for five days, but it was extended for a week until 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 27.

You can read the Premier’s statement here.