- Victoria’s snap lockdown will end as planned at midnight Wednesday, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced.
- While stay-at-home restrictions will be removed, masks will still be required in all areas where social distancing isn’t possible.
- The news comes after Victoria recorded zero new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 over Tuesday.
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Victoria will emerge from its snap lockdown at midnight Wednesday, Premier Daniel Andrews said, alleviating fears of ongoing stay-at-home orders linked to the state’s recent coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking in Melbourne Wednesday morning, Andrews said the limitations on reasons to leave the house will end, along with the 5km travel limit keeping Victorians close to home.
Retail businesses, restaurants, community facilities, and entertainment venues shuttered by the lockdown will be permitted to reopen.
“We will finish up with people be able to move freely because this short and sharp circuit breaker lockdown has worked,” Andrews said.
Today’s decision brings the five-day lockdown to an end. However, some restrictions will remain in place.
Masks will be required indoors and outdoors in circumstances where physically distancing is not possible, with Andrews saying face coverings will be an “ongoing insurance policy” over the coming days.
From midnight, Victorians will be permitted to welcome five visitors to their home, instead of the fifteen visitors they were allowed to host before the lockdown began on Friday.
Public gatherings of up to 20 people will be allowed. Weddings and funerals will be permitted both indoors and outdoors, but remain subject to patron density limits.
Private and public sector workplaces have the green light to welcome up to 50% of their capacity, with 75% capacity limits forecast for Friday next week.
Despite the positive developments, Andrews said today’s announcement doesn’t preclude further lockdowns in response to future outbreaks.
“I can provide no guarantees because I’m not prepared to pretend to the Victorian community that this is over,” Andrews said.
Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton urged Victorians to be vigilant, saying people identified as close contacts of existing COVID-19 must see out their remaining quarantine periods.
The news comes after Victoria counted zero new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 over Tuesday.
Victoria also counted no further cases of COVID-19 among returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Nearly 40,000 tests were processed in the state over Tuesday.
Yesterday there were no new cases reported. 39,258 test results were received. Thank you to those who got tested – #EveryTestHelps.
— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) February 16, 2021
More to come.
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