Victoria records 1,656 new Covid cases hours before more freedoms

·2-min read

Victoria has announced 1,656 new Covid-19 cases just hours before further restrictions are set to ease. 

Another 10 people died from the virus in Victoria and 738 people are in hospital with 130 in ICU. 

The new figures are a slight drop from Thursday's spike of 1,923 local cases.

The state recorded its deadliest day of the Delta outbreak on Thursday, with a further 25 Covid-19 deaths.

From 6pm today, masks will no longer need to be worn outdoors, indoor entertainment venues, gyms and retail can reopen for fully vaccinated patrons, and capacity limits will increase for restaurants, pubs and cafes.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media during a press conference in Melbourne, Tuesday, October 26, 2021. Source: AAP
Victoria has announced 1,656 new Covid-19 cases just hours before further restrictions are set to ease today. Source: AAP

Outdoor events including weddings and funerals will be able to host 500 fully vaccinated people, while outdoor community sport can resume.

The metro-regional border will also reopen from 6pm as the state prepares to hit its 80 per cent vaccination target over the weekend.

It's feared the late afternoon rules change could cause traffic chaos, with thousands fleeing the city for the unofficial Melbourne Cup long weekend.

Police say they will exercise some discretion if people decide to leave the city before 6pm.

"Rather than everyone heading off ... at the six o'clock starting line, if it was a fraction earlier we're not going to be very worried about that," Chief Commissioner Shane Patton told Melbourne's 3AW radio on Thursday.

With greater capacity and intrastate travel allowed, tourism-starved regional operators are preparing for a busy weekend.

Bells Beach Brewing co-owner Adam Smith told AAP he expects his Torquay and Geelong venues to be full and says a group of 30-odd people from Melbourne are making the trip.

"It will almost be like a teary reunion on Saturday when they come in," he said.

With AAP

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