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TravelGuides – Victoria to ditch restrictions for fully vaccinated people from midnight | Victoria

TravelGuides – Victoria to ditch restrictions for fully vaccinated people from midnight | Victoria

Nearly all remaining Covid-19 restrictions in Victoria will lift for fully vaccinated people across the state from Friday, and they will no longer have to isolate if deemed a close contact of a confirmed case.

The premier, Daniel Andrews, made the announcement on Thursday, saying the state was on track to reach its target of 90% of people over 12 years old being fully vaccinated by Saturday or Sunday. When the state’s roadmap to reopening was first announced, this was not projected to occur until 24 November.

From Friday there will be no limits on visitors to homes, or density limits for cafes and restaurants. However, access to many venues including cafes, bars and gyms will continue to be restricted to those that have had two Covid vaccine jabs.

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Masks will only need to be worn in high-risk settings, including for primary school staff and visitors, for students in years 3 to 6, for workers serving the public 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, taxi/rideshare and planes. Customers in retail will no longer need to wear masks after 15 December.

“That normality that we have all craved, we are able to deliver that as a result of the amazing work that Victorians have done in getting vaccinated in record time, and in record numbers,” Andrews said.

“We will see more cases, but they will become less of relevance because we have so many people vaccinated.”

Hospital numbers were also falling, Andrews said, giving the government confidence to further reopen. There were 337 people in hospital and 63 of those were in intensive care. The state recorded 1,007 new cases and 12 deaths overnight.

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The health minister, Martin Foley, said while Victorians who test positive for Covid-19 will have to isolate, the vast majority of people who come into contact with a confirmed positive case outside of their home won’t have to self-quarantine.

These close contacts will still be required to get a standard PCR test and isolate until they get a negative result. But it 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 one exposure sites.

However, the department of health will continue to manage emerging outbreaks of concern and “super-spreader events” and will still impose a quarantine period on contacts on a case-by-case basis.

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“We are confident that these measures will both keep us open and keep us safe and keep the economy, the education system, workplaces, social and cultural life, sporting life, ticking along,” Foley said.

Positive cases are required to notify their workplace, school or childcare about their positive result. Once informed of the case, workplaces will also have to identify and notify employees and sub-contractors – but not customers – who were exposed to advise them to get tested.

Schools and childcare will also identify and inform staff and student contacts. School and workplace contacts presenting for their PCR test will also be offered free rapid antigen tests to use before entering sensitive settings.

The changes also effectively mean the end of mandatory deep cleaning.

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People who test positive are strongly recommended to tell close contacts and encourage them to get tested, but the department of health will no longer trace or manage these contacts. Household contacts who have had more than four hours of contact with a case inside a household, accommodation or care setting must isolate for seven days if fully vaccinated or 14 days if not fully vaccinated, with a PCR test required on day 0 and for release.

If children under 12 are household contacts, they will be considered fully vaccinated if everyone else in their household aged over 12 is fully vaccinated.

Workers exposed at work, and children who are exposed at school or early childhood centres, will need to show a negative PCR test result to return to work or school.

“Victorians upheld their end of the bargain and the government will do the same, 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 … I am not only proud of Victorians but also deeply grateful,” Andrews said.

TravelGuides – Victoria to ditch restrictions for fully vaccinated people from midnight | Victoria

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