Australia's Victoria eases curbs as new cases 'pose no risk'

COVID-19 good news as states consider easing restrictions

COVID-19 good news as states consider easing restrictions

From 11.59pm tonight, masks will be only be required on public transport, in rideshare vehicles and taxis, in sensitive settings such as aged care facilities - and in some larger retail settings including indoor shopping centres, supermarkets, department stores and indoor markets.

Victoria returned to its "COVIDSafe Summer" plan overnight, meaning masks will no longer be required except in high-risk indoor environments and gatherings of up to 30 people in homes are now allowed.

SYDNEY, Feb 26 ― Australia's Victoria state will start easing coronavirus restrictions from tonight, after authorities deemed new locally acquired cases detected for the first time in a week in the state will not pose any public health risk.

At the same time, the state still recorded two locally acquired cases on Friday and both of them were linked to the Holiday Inn cluster, which triggered the third lockdown of Melbourne earlier this month.

"We can ease these restrictions with confidence... thanks to the efforts of every single Victorian", Mr Andrews said.

On top of this, Victorian residents are now able to host up to 30 people per day inside their homes. The new rules are even lighter than the 15-visitor-per-home rules from before New Year's Eve.

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"They have followed the rules, followed the advice and have been guided - just as I am and my team is - by the science", he said.

Meanwhile, up to 100 people are now allowed to attend outdoor gatherings.

Both the public and private sectors will be able to operate at 75 per cent capacity.

Restrictions on the number of people to hospitals and aged care will also be lifted.

"That'll be something approaching normal which is something that Victorians have absolutely earned", he said.

Density limits in pubs, clubs, shops, and other venues will remain at one person per two square metres, as long as patrons sign into the venues with QR codes for contact-tracing purposes.

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