COVID-19 restrictions ease in Victoria

Emily Woods |

Coronavirus restrictions are being eased at many venues in Victoria, with density limits to go and check-ins no longer required.

From 6pm on Friday, density limits will no longer be enforced at restaurants, pubs and clubs, and indoor dancefloors can reopen.

Check-in codes will not be used in shops, schools, and most workplaces, but will still be mandatory in pubs, bars, restaurants and entertainment premises to help ensure patrons are double-vaccinated.

International traveller permits will also be scrapped and quarantine periods for unvaccinated travellers halved to seven days.

Additionally, a mandate requiring key industries to undertake surveillance testing will be replaced with a recommendation and hospital worker bubbles will end.

The restrictions are being eased as another 14 coronavirus deaths were reported in Victoria on Friday along with 6935 new cases, including 4329 from rapid antigen tests and 2606 from PCRs.

The state is now managing 48,852 total active cases, down from more than 50,000 on Thursday.

Late on Friday the health department corrected its figure for hospitalisations, with 379 cases in hospital in Victoria.

The AFL has also announced capacity crowds will be welcomed back in Victoria this season, with up to 100,000 fans permitted at the MCG on March 16.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said he was “pretty excited” about the return of footy crowds.

“Now, hopefully, we’ll get back to COVID normal, that means that not everything is going to be as it always was, we’re going to still have to make appropriate allowances for how we congregate,” he told reporters on Friday.

“But the good news is, getting back to capacity crowds I think will be a sign that our economy is well and truly healing.”

In announcing the restriction change on Thursday, Premier Daniel Andrews said the state’s Omicron peak had passed, allowing Victoria to begin moving “back to normal”.

He said decisions around indoor mask requirements and returning to offices will be determined over the next week, with an announcement likely next Friday.

The state government met with industry leaders on Friday to discuss how the public and private sectors will approach a return to the office.

More than 54 per cent of people aged over 18 have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, after 8553 vaccines were administered on Thursday.