Most of Victoria’s COVID-19 rules are relaxed for fully vaccinated

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said “almost all” rules can now disappear thanks to the strong use of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“You’ll be able to get back to normal,” he told reporters.

“Victoria, like perhaps no other part of the country, has won these liberties.”

People are seen crossing Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne.

Source: AAP

Non-essential retail will adhere to the state’s vaccinated economy, meaning that only fully vaccinated people can visit those stores unless they are under 12 years and two months old or have a valid exemption.

While masks will no longer be required for customers visiting hospitable places, workers must continue to wear them.

Masks will not be needed in workplaces such as offices, but will be required in elementary schools, health, nursing care or justice.

They must also be carried in public transport, travel parts or taxis and stay for a few more weeks in retail.

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Indoor events will be allowed to accommodate up to 30,000 spectators, however one-time approval is required to exceed that capacity.

Events held outdoors can exceed 30,000 if they publish their COVID Security plans, meaning the Boxing Day Test and Australian Open can continue at full capacity under approval.

There are also changes to isolation rules, and people who test positive should be quarantined for 10 days instead of 14.

Positive cases will be tasked with contacting the people they saw before their diagnosis, including their workplace, school, or child care, as the health department will no longer manage contacts.

The department may still impose quarantine periods on a case-by-case basis, but exhibits will no longer be published.

Close contacts of confirmed cases outside their home will still need to be tested and isolated until a negative result, but no longer need to self-quarantine.

Isolation for fully vaccinated home contacts will be halved to seven days.

Victoria removes most rules on COVID-19

Acting Health Officer Ben Cowie said there will be a “period of adjustment” as people get used to their new eased restrictions and he warned that virus transmission will continue.

“We will see continued transmission of the virus in the community, there will be serious cases,” he said.

“But for vaccinated people, they’re much less likely to get seriously ill, end up in hospital, end up in intensive care, or … lose their lives.”

Victoria is now 88 per cent double vaccinated at the age of over 12 and is expected to reach 90 per cent this weekend.

The state recorded 1,007 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths on Thursday.

There are 337 viral patients in hospital, with 63 active COVID-19 cases in ICU, 65 were cleaned, and 34 on ventilators.

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