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Covid Australia: Melbourne lockdown ends: Here’s all the things you can do from TODAY

The lives of long-suffering Victorians have at last returned to normal as the state ends almost all Covid lockdown restrictions after hitting the 90 per cent vaccination rate.

Since 11.59pm on Thursday there are now no more fun-killing capacity limits on pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes. 

Stand-up drinking is allowed again, along with dancing, and mask mandates have been be abolished in all but ‘high risk’ settings such as indoor retail and public transport.

Retail stores and personal services can also operate as normal, with Victorians allowed to have as many visitors in their home as they please – paving the way for some wild summer parties.

And cricket’s back too as Dan Andrews signals there will be 100,000 screaming fans ready to pack into the MCG for the Boxing Day Test against England.

But the new freedoms are only available to those who’ve had the jab, with anyone refusing to roll up their sleeve still shut out from most places, including non-essential shopping, hospitality venues, beauty services, and sport and recreation facilities. 

The lives of long-suffering Victorians will finally return to normal as the state calls an end to almost all of its Covid lockdown restrictions after reaching a 90 vaccination rate (pictured, revellers at Melbourne Cup in 2021)

Since 11.59pm on Thursday there are now no capacity limits at hospitality venues across Victoria (pictured, diners at Melbourne's Degraves Street)

Since 11.59pm on Thursday there are now no capacity limits at hospitality venues across Victoria (pictured, diners at Melbourne’s Degraves Street)

CHANGES IN VICTORIA FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT 

No density limits in hospitality venues.

No limits on visitors at a home.

Weddings and funerals can go ahead without patron limits as long as guests are vaccinated.

Dancefloors will be allowed.

Masks will still be mandatory for primary school staff and visitors and for students in Years 3 to 6, for workers at hospitality venues, for workers and customers at indoor retail, for visitors and select workers in hospitals or care facilities, and for people using public transport.

Covid-positive Victorians will only have to isolate for 10 days instead of 14.

Household contacts can isolate for seven days if vaccinated.

Close contacts of a case required to receive a test and only isolate until negative. 

‘If you’re fully vaccinated, your life will return back to normal,’ Premier Andrews said on Thursday. ‘There are no more caps, there are no more closures.’

‘Whether it is 100,000 people at the MCG on Boxing Day, or a smaller group of people standing up at the local pub having a beer – this is a Covid normal that every Victorian has wanted.

‘You will have the normalcy you have missed. This is a safe delivery of the national plan, I am not only proud of Victorians but also deeply grateful.’ 

Over the past two years, Melbourne suffered through six excruciating stay-at-home declarations becoming the world’s most locked down city. 

While there were 1,007 new Covid cases on Thursday, the skyrocketing vaccination rates mean Victoria is now on its way to becoming one of the most vaccinated places in the world. 

Over the past two years, Melbourne suffered through six excruciating stay-at-home declarations becoming the world's most locked down city (pictured, Harry Potter fans snap a selfie before the show reopens in Melbourne)

Over the past two years, Melbourne suffered through six excruciating stay-at-home declarations becoming the world’s most locked down city (pictured, Harry Potter fans snap a selfie before the show reopens in Melbourne)

The skyrocketing vaccination rates mean Victoria is now on its way to becoming one of the most vaccinated places in the world (pictured, people take their seats with a capacity of 75 percent at Princess Theatre on November 18, 2021 in Melbourne)

The skyrocketing vaccination rates mean Victoria is now on its way to becoming one of the most vaccinated places in the world (pictured, people take their seats with a capacity of 75 percent at Princess Theatre on November 18, 2021 in Melbourne)

Premier Dan Andrews took to Twitter to spruik Victoria's success and a return to normal life (pictured)

Premier Dan Andrews took to Twitter to spruik Victoria’s success and a return to normal life (pictured)

Where do I have to wear face masks? 

Face masks are longer be mandatory outdoors or in the office but there are still some places where you still need to mask up.

It remains mandatory to wear face coverings in indoor retail settings like supermarkets for at least another month, with the rule expected to be abolished on December 15 as long as there is not a significant increase in Covid cases. 

The same goes for people on public transport, taxis, rideshares and planes.

People in high-risk workplaces including meat, poultry and seafood processing centres are also required to wear face masks along with school staff and visitors for students in grades 3 to 6. 

Dancefloors will be back open at nightclubs for the unvaccinated only (pictured, a bar operative creates a cocktail to celebrate Melbourne's Freedom Day last month)

Dancefloors will be back open at nightclubs for the unvaccinated only (pictured, a bar operative creates a cocktail to celebrate Melbourne’s Freedom Day last month)

Personal services like hairdressers and barber shops (pictured) will be allowed to operate with no capacity limits

Personal services like hairdressers and barber shops (pictured) will be allowed to operate with no capacity limits

Face masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors or in the office but there are still some places where you will still need to mask up (pictured, Hardware Lane in Melbourne)

Face masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors or in the office but there are still some places where you will still need to mask up (pictured, Hardware Lane in Melbourne)

What are the new capacity limits? 

There are now no density limits in hospitality venues right across the state.

It’s the same story for visitors in the home and for weddings, funerals and religious services – as long as all the guests are vaccinated.

Retail shops and personal services like beauty salons are also free to return to normal trade. 

When it comes to live events, all indoor and outdoor gatherings with less than 30,000 fully vaccinated attendees will be able to proceed with no special approval. 

Indoor venues – including stadiums that have a capacity of 30,000 or more can also go ahead but will need their COVIDSafe Plan to be approved by the Victorian Government.

That means summer sports fans will be able to go wild at some of Australia’s most iconic events including the Boxing Day cricket Test and the Australian Open tennis tournament.

Summer sports fans (pictured) will be able to go wild at some of Australia's most iconic events

Summer sports fans (pictured) will be able to go wild at some of Australia’s most iconic events

Under the new rules anyone who catches coronavirus will only have to isolate for 10 days, not 14 (pictured, bargoers in Melbourne enjoy their new-found freedoms)

Under the new rules anyone who catches coronavirus will only have to isolate for 10 days, not 14 (pictured, bargoers in Melbourne enjoy their new-found freedoms)

Vaccinated close contacts only need to isolate until they receive a negative test, while visitors at venues and officers where a positive case has been are now under no obligation to self isolate (pictured, diners in Melbourne's Degraves Street)

Vaccinated close contacts only need to isolate until they receive a negative test, while visitors at venues and officers where a positive case has been are now under no obligation to self isolate (pictured, diners in Melbourne’s Degraves Street)

What are the new Covid isolation rules?  

Under the new rules anyone who catches coronavirus will only have to isolate for 10 days, not 14.  

Household contacts of positive cases only have to isolate for seven days if they’ve had the jab. 

Vaccinated close contacts only need to isolate until they receive a negative test, while visitors at venues and officers where a positive case has been are now under no obligation to self isolate.

‘This means exposure in places like offices, restaurants or nightclubs won’t automatically result in quarantine for the patrons or staff, who previously would have been designated Primary Close Contacts at Tier 1 exposure sites,’ Premier Andrews said.  

The Department of Health are also doing away with contact tracing with people test positive urged to contact their close contacts themselves.

Businesses are not required to undergo mandatory deep cleaning after a an exposure incident and exposure sites will no longer be listed on the government website.

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