Mask restrictions to ease as VIC goes eight days without local transmission

Mask restrictions to ease as VIC goes eight days without local transmission

Mask rules and capacity limits in office spaces will ease for Victorians on Sunday evening as the state goes more than a week without new local cases of COVID-19.

According to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, the efforts of contact tracers to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus in the state mean he is comfortable to dial down restrictions.

As such, from 11.59pm AEDT on Sunday 17 January, masks will only need to be worn in "high-risk" environments like shopping centres, supermarkets, and on public transport.

Further, private sector business will be able to return to having 50 per cent of the workforce in the office, while the public sector will move up to 25 per cent of the workforce present.

"To produce eight days of zero is something that all of our public health team can be proud of," Andrews said.

"It doesn't mean that we should ever take for granted the precious things we've built. That's why we've had to make very difficult decisions.

"I think pausing for the week was the right choice to make, given there was some uncertainty."

The Premier also confirmed there are 18 people in VIC who stayed at Brisbane's Grand Chancellor Hotel during the period when a cleaner at the hotel contracted the UK variant of COVID-19.

As such, VIC health officials have asked those 18 people to either isolate and get tested, or just get tested, depending on when they were staying at the hotel.

"There's not one blanket answer, it depends on when they were in hotel quarantine," Andrews said.

"Because of the infections that have already been recorded in hotel quarantine between staff and residents...circumstances are very much based on each person's travel movements and when they were in hotel quarantine."

Updated at 12.29pm AEDT on 14 January 2021.

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