Victoria to ease Covid rules

File photo.

The Victorian Government today announced changes to the state’s Covid pandemic orders, which will take effect from 11:59pm on Friday.

• People will no longer be required to have two vaccine doses or show vaccination status before entering venues

• The requirement for staff and patrons of venues to check-in using the Service Victoria app will end, with operators not required to keep any attendance records or maintain a check-in marshal

• Masks will no longer be required in primary schools, early childhood, hospitality and retail settings, or at events of any size

• Close contacts will no longer have to quarantine – provided they wear a mask indoors and avoid sensitive settings. They will also need to undertake at least five negative rapid tests over the seven days that would previously have been the self-quarantine period

• All visitor restrictions in hospitals will be removed except for mask requirements, with health services able to tailor their own settings based on their own circumstances

• Events with more than 30,000 people will no longer require public health pre-approval

• International travellers who are symptom-free will be recommended but not required to get a PCR or rapid test on arrival, and unvaccinated travellers will no longer complete 7 days’ quarantine. Pre departure tests for unvaccinated air crew will also be lifted

• People are exempt from testing or quarantine for 12 weeks if they’ve had COVID-19 – up from 8 weeks

• Individuals will be required to notify their workplace contacts, in addition to informing their social contacts. Workplaces won’t have to individually identify and notify each potentially exposed worker

Some measures will be be retained, including the requirement to isolate for seven days following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Vaccine mandates for key industries such as healthcare, food distribution, police, emergency services and education will remain.

Visitor restrictions in care facilities will be retained to protect the vulnerable. Residents can currently have up to five visitors per day if each show a negative rapid antigen test result – or two visitors if no test results are provided.

Face coverings will still be required on public transport and at airports – excluding airport workers who aren’t public facing – and in sensitive health, aged care and justice settings. All workplaces will still require a COVIDSafe Plan.

Many rules which are no longer required will be recommended, including working from home if you’re a close contact exempt from quarantine. Masks are strongly recommended when you can’t physically distance.

“This sensible easing of restrictions is only possible because we are one of the most vaccinated societies in the world, with almost 70 per cent of Victorian adults already armed with their third dose,” Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“The vaccinated economy kept Victorians safe and businesses open during an unpredictable time when we saw our highest case numbers ever – but now is the right time to set it aside and focus on the highest risk settings.”