Victorian Premier Dan Andrews. Source: Reuters
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  • The Victorian Government is set to lift almost all remaining COVID-19 restrictions statewide before the start of the weekend as it approaches a major vaccination milestone
  • From 11:59 pm tonight, all density and capacity limits on home visits and hospitality venues will be lifted, with mask mandates to also be removed for most settings
  • Major events will be able to go ahead without restrictions or necessary approvals so long as they have less than 30,000 attendees
  • The Victorian Government says there will be no more contact tracing of positive cases, and exposure sites will not be published
  • The new rules only apply to vaccinated Victorians; tighter restrictions are now in place for those who have not been vaccinated, including bans from non-essential retail stores

The Victorian government is set to lift almost all remaining COVID-19 restrictions statewide before the start of the weekend as it approaches a major vaccination milestone.

From 11:59 pm tonight, all government-imposed caps and density limits on home visits and hospitality venues will be lifted for doubled-jabbed Victorians, with mask mandates to be removed for most locations.

The latest round of easing restrictions comes as Victoria approaches its 90-per-cent double-dose milestone, which is expected to occur in the next few days.

Premier Dan Andrews said in a media statement Victoria’s “vaccinated economy” will remain — meaning restrictions will remain in place for anyone in Victoria who is not vaccinated.

In fact, new restrictions are being put in place for unvaccinated Victorians. Anyone who has not been double-jabbed in the state will now be banned from non-essential retail stores, with proof of vaccination required for those entering the shops.

This comes even though unvaccinated Victorians have been allowed in these areas until now.

Victoria’s rules are the reverse of New South Wales’ rules, under which unvaccinated people in NSW are banned from the non-essential retail until the state hits a 90-per-cent double dose rate.

Nevertheless, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said the new changes in Victoria will set the state’s economy up to come “roaring back.”

“The Victorian Chamber has fought hard on behalf of our members and businesses for this easing of restrictions which will be a game-changer as we continue to ease into summer and the festive season; peak time for so many businesses that are ready to make the most of these fabulous new conditions,” Mr Guerra said.

“The changes to isolation requirements and quarantine periods are a game-changer which will make it easier for businesses to stay open and their staff to stay at work.”

Victoria’s new rules

From tonight, all indoor and outdoor events with less than 30,000 people will be allowed to proceed with no special approval or COVID plan.

Events with more than 30,000 people, like the Boxing Day Test and the Australian Open, will be able to proceed at full capacity but will need to have a state-approved COVIDsafe plan in place before getting the green light.

All attendees of these events will be required to show proof of vaccination to get in.

While masks will still be required for some high-risk settings like for primary school staff, hospitality workers, on public transport, and workers in meat processing, the Victorian Government said it is on track to lift mask mandates in retail stores from December 15.

Meanwhile, positive COVID-19 cases will now only need to isolate for 10 days, instead of 14. Family members or household contacts of positive cases will need to quarantine for seven days if vaccinated and 14 days if not.

On that note, Victoria said there would be no more contact tracing of positive cases, and exposure sites will not be published.

Mr Andrews said Victoria was on its way to becoming “one of the most vaccinated places in the world.”

“The milestone we’re about to hit is brilliant, allowing Victoria to return to something like the normal life we remember — businesses open, the city thriving and families getting back to doing the things they love together,” the Premier said.

Under the new rules, children under 12 will be considered fully vaccinated if everyone else in their household is fully vaccinated.

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