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Victoria set to scrap most remaining Covid restrictions next month

Victorians set to return to ‘near-normal life’ in just WEEKS as Daniel Andrews prepares to announce easing of major Covid restrictions – despite another jump in case numbers


Fully-vaccinated Victorians are set to return to near normal life next month as major Covid-19 restrictions are scrapped and a switch to rapid testing allows close contacts to skip isolation.   

Victoria recorded 1,935 new Covid cases and 11 deaths on Sunday as the government is expected to announce a raft of changes to its freedom roadmap as the state smashes vaccination targets. 

With the 80 per cent goalpost imminent, authorities are now considering the next round of rules to be eased around mid-to-late November when 90 per cent of over 12s are fully-vaccinated.   

Victoria recorded 1,935 new Covid cases 11 additional deaths on Sunday as the government is expected to announce a raft of changes. Pictured: Women enjoy a drink in Melbourne on Friday after lockdown restrictions were eased

After almost two years of tough restrictions, changes on the table include abolishing working from home requirements, and capacity limits and seated service in restaurants and pubs,, the Herald Sun reports. 

Mask mandates would be dropped – except for high-risk settings and public transport – while density limits are boosted for retail venues, live events, weddings and funerals. 

Capacity limits for major sporting games could also be dumped, allowing up to 75,000 fans to potentially pack into the MCG for the Boxing Day Test. 

Home visitors, which are currently limited to 10 but were scheduled to triple by Christmas, are also likely to be revised to a higher number. 

The series of benefits will only be granted to those who are fully-vaccinated, with 73 per cent of Victorians over 16 now having received both doses.  

Meanwhile, schoolchildren who are close contacts of Covid-19 cases will be able to return to the classroom if they submit a negative a negative rapid test result under a new pilot program. 

The Victorian government is trialling 15-minute antigen tests on students as part of a plan to use them across the state in a bid to cut down on the number of days residents spend in quarantine, The Age reports.  

If successful, the initiative will be rolled out across society to combat the economic loss created by groups being locked out of work. 

The news comes as Melbourne enjoys its first weekend since the city’s 77-day lockdown ended. 

Despite restrictions being eased, Covid cases have continued to rise – with almost 25,000 actives infections being managed across the state. 

There are 787 people in hospital of which 146 are in intensive care, with 93 of those patients a ventilator. 

The 11 deaths recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday bring the death toll from the current Delta outbreak to 223.  

The Victorian government is preparing to scrap capacity limits for hospitality venues once 90 per cent of over 12s are fully vaccinated. Pictured: People line up outside a restaurant in Melbourne on Friday

The Victorian government is preparing to scrap capacity limits for hospitality venues once 90 per cent of over 12s are fully vaccinated. Pictured: People line up outside a restaurant in Melbourne on Friday

Premier Daniel Andrews on Friday said the state is on track to reach 80 per cent full vaccination of its over 16 population by next weekend, paving the way for further restrictions to ease.

He flagged he would hold a press conference ‘quite soon to clarify what we hope can happen at the end of next week’, and could go further than previously announced.

Under the government’s original roadmap, outdoor masks will be scrapped, statewide travel will return, indoor entertainment venues, gyms and retail can reopen, and capacity limits increase when the state reaches 80 per cent.

Victoria was initially forecast to reach the milestone on November 5, but analysts predict the target could be hit on October 29 or 30.

The sped-up vaccination rate has prompted Victorian authorities to green light a 5500-strong, fully vaccinated crowd for Derby Day before 10,000 arrive at Flemington for the Melbourne Cup three days later. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk