Victoria COVID cases hours before retail opens and Melbourne can travel to regions under new rules

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Victoria has recorded a slight drop in COVID-19 cases just hours before retail reopens and metro Melbourne becomes one with the regions again.

On Wednesday, the health department confirmed there had been 1656 cases in the 24 hours until midnight.

There were also 10 COVID-related deaths.

The number of people hospitalised with COVID-19 in the state remains stable at 738.

Of those 130 are in intensive care and 85 are on a ventilator.

A huge 91.4 per cent of Victorians have had their first vaccination dose and the state is now at 78.7 per cent double dose coverage.

There were 1923 cases recorded on Thursday, 1534 on Wednesday, 1510 on Tuesday, 1461 on Monday and 1935 on Sunday.

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Freedom Friday

On Sunday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced major changes to Victoria’s roadmap when the state reaches its 80 per cent vaccination milestone, which will be sometime this weekend.

This means from 6pm on Friday, restrictions can ease earlier than first planned.

The rules in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria will align and there will no longer be a travel ban between the two areas.

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From Friday night, masks will no longer be required outdoors and students from every year level will return to full time face-to-face learning on November 1.

All retail will be open and pubs, restaurants and cafe can have up to 500 fully vaccinated patrons outside and a density limit of one person per four square metres inside.

Up to 30 people can gather outside, which is an increase of 15 and home gatherings remain capped at ten.

Weddings, funerals and religious services return to the four-square-metre density limit indoors for fully vaccinated patrons and 500 outdoors.

– With AAP




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