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Lockdown lifted across Victoria while NSW records highest daily total of COVID cases

Lockdown lifted across Victoria while NSW records highest daily total of COVID cases
July 27, 2021

Following a reduction in community transmission of COVID in Victoria, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has advised today that the lockdown will be lifted state-wide from 11.59pm tonight. This announcement comes at the same time NSW records 172 new cases of COVID-19 – the highest daily total for the current Sydney outbreak.

With the lifting of lockdown, Victorians will be able to leave their homes for any reason. Live music venues, dance classes and physical recreation facilities, including gyms, will all open with density requirements of 1 person per 4sqm.

People will be free to visit ski fields again, but due to the higher risk in these settings entry to Victoria’s alpine resorts will require a COVID test and receipt of a negative result within 72 hours prior to visiting. Children under 12 years of age are not required to be tested.

Restaurants and cafes can also reopen for seated service. Retail and beauty and personal care will open in line with density limits, as will entertainment venues and community facilities.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews commented “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.

“There are still thousands of Victorians in quarantine and people will need to remain vigilant to stay on top of this highly infectious Delta variant. That means COVIDSafe behaviours like checking in everywhere, every time, wearing a mask and getting vaccinated when you’re eligible will remain key as we cautiously open up again.”

The Authorised Worker List will no longer apply, meaning businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits of 1 person per 4sqm. 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% or up to 10 people, whichever is greater.

In welcome news for families, children can return to the classroom with schools reopening for onsite learning to all students from tomorrow.

Public gatherings will be allowed with up to 10 people, with infants under 12 months not included in the cap.

However, due to the significant transmission risk, gatherings in the home are still not permitted. People will only be able to book accommodation with their household, intimate partner or single bubble person.

A maximum of 50 people will be permitted at weddings. Funerals will also have a cap of 50 mourners, plus those conducting the funeral. Infants under 12 months are not included in the cap for either.

Victorian Minister for Health Martin Foley noted “today is welcome news but with thousands of Victorians in quarantine, we need to remain vigilant to keep each other safe – so please check in everywhere, every time, wear a mask and get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible.”

Masks will continue to be required everywhere indoors and outdoors (except private residences) unless an exception applies. Results from a recent Burnet Institute study show that masks played a huge role in slowing the spread of the virus in 2020 – and they will be an important part of our defences against the virus for some time to come.

Premier Andrews added “while case numbers in Sydney remain so high, we are still at risk of another significant incursion from NSW so on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, changes will also be made to tighten our cross-border bubble with NSW.

“The City of Wagga Wagga, Hay Shire Council, Lockhart Shire Council and Murrumbidgee Council will no longer be included in the cross border bubble.

“These local government areas will be included under the Extreme Risk Zone from 11:59pm tonight, in line with the rest of NSW and residents will need a Specified Worker Permit, transit permit, or an exemption to enter Victoria.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she looks forward to making an announcement later this week about how Greater Sydney’s lockdown will look in the weeks ahead.

With many in NSW arguing that the restrictions should have been in place earlier,

Premier Berejiklian has noted that had the current restrictions not been in place “case numbers would literally be in their thousands” but case numbers were still “not where they needed to be”.

For more information on the latest COVIDSafe settings in Victoria please visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

Image: Falls Creek ski field Victoria. Victorians will be free to visit ski fields again, but due to the higher risk in these settings entry to Victoria’s alpine resorts will require a COVID test and receipt of a negative result within 72 hours prior to visiting

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