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Melbourne will ease lockdown restrictions on Friday

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Restrictions across Victoria will ease on Friday as the state records 5 new locally acquired COVID cases. One “concerning” case involves a vaccinated nurse at a private hospital.

Acting Premier James Merlino has announced that the easing of the restrictions will begin at 11:59 pm Thursday. All travel restrictions within Melbourne will be lifted and city residents will be allowed to travel into the regions.

“Since the pandemic started, distance has been one of the hardest things to live with,” Merlino said. “We have been waiting to see those people and places that we love, which is why I am very pleased to confirm that on the advice of the chief health officer, the metropolitan border and the 25km limit will be removed, and the state will come back together from 11.59 pm tomorrow night,” he added speaking to the press Wednesday.

Up to 20 people will be able to gather in Melbourne and 2 visitors per day will be allowed in the home. Masks but be carried and worn in public indoor spaces like trains, shops, and in other situations where social distancing is not possible. However, masks will no longer be required when outdoors.

Business like gyms, restaurants and indoor entertainment venues are now allowed to open and operate at an increased rate. The number of people allowed to attend hospitality and entertainment events and religious services will also increase.

Those who are able to work from home are still encouraged to continue doing so but up to 50% of staff can now return to their offices.

Restrictions in regional Victoria will also be relaxed and people will soon be able to travel in and out of greater Melbourne despite the differences in COVID rules.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • An increase of 50 people for public gatherings
  • People can now host 5 people in their homes per day
  • Hospitality density quotas have increased to two persons per two square metres
  • Funerals can now have up to 100 mourners
  • 300 people can now attend religious events
  • Office capacity will increase to 75%

“We want to keep regional Victoria free of this virus, which is why the public team have recommended stronger settings for metropolitan Melbourne as extra protection as we run down these remaining cases,” Merlino said.

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