Premier announces Victoria's lockdown to end – but some restrictions remain

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·2-min read

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced Victoria will end its five-day lockdown at midnight on Wednesday as planned.

The announcement comes after zero locally acquired cases were announced earlier on Wednesday, with the Holiday Inn cluster which sparked the lockdown remaining at 19 cases.

"This will be a short, sharp circuit breaker... this is exactly what we needed, exactly what we said would work," he told reporters.

While the 5km travel rule and four reasons for leaving your home are scrapped, masks will still be required indoors and outdoors.

Residents will also only be allowed five visitors in their homes through to February 26.

Daniel Andrews has announced Victoria's lockdown will end tonight. Source: AAP
Daniel Andrews has announced Victoria's lockdown will end tonight. Source: AAP

Twenty people will be allowed at public gatherings, however weddings and funerals will not have capacity limits.

Private and public sector workplaces can return to 50 per cent capacity.

An announcement on Australian Open restrictions for crowds will be revealed later today, Mr Andrews said.

He warned stadium capacity may have to be reduced even further than pre-lockdown limits.

Premier's warning despite lifting of restrictions

Mr Andrews warned this "issue is not over" and called for caution in the coming nine days which will see the completion of a 14-day incubation period.

"We'll have to acknowledge it is not over, it is not gone and there are many thousands of people who are doing the right thing and we are deeply grateful to them," he said.

While he acknowledged the vaccine had arrived in Australia ahead of its rollout this month, he warned it was far from the end of the pandemic.

"It's not stopping it just isn't. And we just can't pretend that it is. I know we all desperately want it to."

Mr Andrews told reporters he could not guarantee sending the state into another lockdown if community transmission emerged.

"I can provide no guarantees because I'm not prepared to pretend to the Victorian community that this is over," he said.

"I'm just not in the business of ignoring advice, or shopping around for advice that suits me. The only thing that suits all of us is to keep control of this."

The Holiday Inn cluster began when the highly-infectious UK strain is believed to have escaped from a room housing three infected returned travellers.

Mr Andrews praised the near 40,000 people who presented for testing in the previous hours. There were 130,000 tests processed in the previous five days.

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