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Melbourne to reunite with Vic regions


By Callum Godde in Melbourne
Source: AAP

Melburnians will be able to enter regional Victoria before next weekend as part of further eased COVID-19 restrictions when the state hits its 80 per cent full vaccination target.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced the latest round of rules will take effect from 6pm on Friday, as the state closes in on 80 per cent of people 16 or over being fully vaccinated.

Under the changes, statewide travel will return, outdoor masks are scrapped and indoor entertainment venues, gyms and retail can reopen for fully vaccinated patrons.

In addition, capacity limits will increase for restaurants, pubs and cafes.

Mr Andrews also outlined changes to the state’s roadmap when 90 per cent of people 12 and over are full vaccinated, forecast on or around November 24, including scrapping all venue caps.

“There will be no density quotients anywhere,” he told reporters.

“Masks will only be required in high-risk indoor settings, such as public transport, prisons, hospitals, aged care, to give you some examples.

“We will retain the vaccinated economy, all those requirements, all those settings, where you only get in if you are double vaccinated.”

He wants a 80,000-plus crowd for day one of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG but said all would have to be double-dose vaccinated.

It comes as Victoria reported 1935 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths, taking the toll from the current outbreak to 223.

On the first weekend since Melbourne’s 77-day lockdown ended, the state is managing almost 25,000 active cases.

There are 787 people in hospital, slightly lifting the seven-day average to 793. Of them, 146 are in intensive care and 93 of those on a ventilator.

There were 69,624 tests processed and 39,250 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at state-run hubs on Saturday.

Some 73.7 per cent of Victorians 16 and over are now fully vaccinated.

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