Victoria returns to pre-lockdown restrictions

Victoria returns to pre-lockdown restrictions

Despite recording two new locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, from tonight Victoria will return to settings that were in place prior to the state's latest lockdown.

As such, more visitors will be allowed in homes, mask wearing will be reduced, and more workers will be permitted to head back to the office.

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

Victorians will be able to host up to 30 people in their home per day. Outdoor gatherings in public places like the beach or the park will increase to 100 people.

The planned increase for office workers to return to work will go ahead at 75 per cent across both public and private sectors. For most workers, this will mean returning to the office from Monday 1 March.

Density limits in pubs, restaurants and cafes will remain at one person per two square metres for both indoors and outdoors with no other limit, so long as electronic record keeping is used.

For beauty services, businesses remain at one person per two square metres if they also introduce electronic record keeping. For businesses where that's not possible, density limits of one person per four square metres will apply.

Retail businesses also remain at one person per two square metres and electronic record keeping is recommended where practical.

Funerals and weddings are subject to a density limit of one person per two square metres. The same rules will apply to nightclubs and community facilities, like libraries, RSLs, and community halls.

In gyms, the density limit remains one person per four square metres with exercise classes limited to 50 indoors and 100 outdoors.

"I want to thank every Victorian for making today's announcement possible and I want to thank every Victorian for their patience," VIC Premier Daniel Andrews said.

"It's been a hard slog, but Victorians are doing what they do best as we work to beat this virus: staying the course and looking out for each other."

The changes come as VIC records two new locally transmitted cases of COVID-19.

Both cases were in isolation during their infectious period and pose no threat to the public, according to health officials.

It also comes as other states prepare to reopen to Melbourne following border closures in response to an outbreak of the coronavirus.

Queensland will reopen to Melbourne from 1am on Saturday, and South Australia will reopen from midnight tonight.

Updated at 12.19pm AEDT on 26 February 2021.

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