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Provider: SBS News
Categories: World & Regional

Victoria’s coronavirus restrictions to ease from midnight as state records two new local cases

Two new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Victoria as the government moves to wind back coronavirus restrictions from midnight on Friday. Health authorities said the new cases, reported on Friday, were primary close contacts of pre-existing cases who tested positive towards the end of their 14-day mandatory quarantine, breaking the state’s six-day run of no new cases. Both of the cases had been in hotel quarantine during their infectious period and are linked to the Holiday Inn cluster, which now totals 24 cases. “They pose no risk to public health more broadly,” Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday, as he announced the rolling back of restrictions put in place late last year.From 11.59pm on Friday, the state’s coronavirus restrictions will return to pre-Christmas summer settings including increased gathering limits.Up to 30 people will now be permitted to visit a private residence per day, up from five, and up to 100 people can attend an outdoor gathering.Masks will also now only be required on public transport, in taxis and ride share vehicles, and in sensitive settings such as aged care facilities instead of all indoor venues. The planned increase for workers to go back to the office will also go ahead at 75 per cent across the private and public sectors, Mr Andrews said. The Holiday Inn outbreak led to a five-day “circuit-breaker” lockdown amid fears the virus had spread to the community, which ended on 18 February.Thousands of close contacts were forced into quarantine as a result of the outbreak, with many now approaching the end of their mandatory 14-day isolation.”I will take this opportunity to thank the many thousands of people who over these last few weeks have been at home, isolating away from other members of the community,” Mr Andrews said.”We thank them and we acknowledge the fact that whilst we have pretty well got back to normal in these last couple of weeks, they have been doing the work for all of us, not only to keep their own families safe, but the keep every single family safe.”Like this story? Here’s where else you can find SBS News content and follow us:SBS News website: Save our website sbs.com.au/news as a favourite. SBS News app: Download our app from Apple’s App Store or Google Play and subscribe to the alerts.SBS News newsletters: Get the latest delivered to your email inbox by subscribing here. Apple News: Follow the SBS News channel here on an Apple device.Twitter: Follow us at twitter.com/SBSNewsInstagram: Follow us at instagram.com/sbsnews_auYouTube: Subscribe at youtube.com/c/sbsnewsTikTok: Follow us at tiktok.com/@sbsnews_auReddit: Join us at reddit.com/r/sbsnewsauSBS also publishes news in 68 languages online and on radio. Find your language at sbs.com.au/language.You can also find stories from Dateline, Insight, The Feed and NITV on their websites and social media platforms.People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirusPlease check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania.