Covid Victoria: Big case spike as state set to ease restrictions

·2-min read

Victoria has reported 510 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases as the state's Delta crisis shows no signs of abating.

The Department of Health said 386 of the latest cases were unlinked at this stage. 

The state reported a further Covid-related death. 

It comes as millions across the state will enjoy an easing of lockdown from 11.59pm on Friday after the state anticipated hitting 70 per cent of its eligible population with at least one dose.

The move was announced on Thursday despite the state's Delta outbreak rapidly deteriorating during September with the Victorian branch of the Australian Medical Association questioning whether too much is being eased too soon. 

People walk around Lake Wendouree in Ballarat, Australia.
Victorians will be granted new freedoms in just hours. Source: Getty Images

Thursday saw the outbreak pass 500 daily cases for the first time.

Melburnians have been urged not to abuse the new freedoms which will allow up to five fully vaccinated adults to gather for a walk or picnic from this weekend.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated adults will also be able to meet up with one other person from a different household for a walk or picnic, while that figure grows to five from two households, plus dependents, for fully vaccinated adults.

Premier Daniel Andrews said police will not be going from park to park to check the vaccination status of those gathering for picnics, but he hoped Victorians would "do the right thing".

"There's a degree of good faith in this," Mr Andrews told reporters.

Bizarre alcohol lockdown rule

An exemption to the current ban on removing masks to drink alcohol outside of the home has not been granted, effectively making it illegal to have a tipple during picnics unless done through a straw.

Other rule changes from 11.59pm on Friday include a doubling of the amount of time allowed outdoors to four hours, the expansion of the travel limit from five kilometres to 10, and the reopening of outdoor gym equipment and skate parks.

With AAP

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