Fully vaccinated primary close contacts will only need to isolate for seven days once lockdown lifts in Victoria.
Health Minister Martin Foley unveiled changes to the state’s isolation policy on Monday morning as Melbourne gets ready to reopen on Thursday night.
The new rules mean those exposed to a positive Covid case will only need to quarantine for seven days if they return negative test results on both day one and six of their isolation.
The changes coincide with the end of Melbourne’s lockdown at 11.59pm on Thursday when pubs and restaurants will reopen and Victorians will be allowed to welcome visitors into their homes again.
Mr Foley said the changes were being made as double-dosed vaccination meant a significant reduction in a person’s chances of becoming infected and because Victorians had hit the 70 per cent vaccination target so quickly, the changes were now possible.
Camera IconFully vaccinated primary close contacts will only need to isolate for seven days in Victoria from Friday. NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui Credit: NCA NewsWire
He said the changes were also possible given almost 90 per cent of people infected with the Delta variant turn positive by day seven, whereas previously with other strains it could be any time up to 14 days.
Household contacts of a positive case will still need to continue to isolate for 14 days, as they continue to have the highest risk of infection.
According to the Victorian government, 45 per cent of all household primary close contacts test positive even when fully vaccinated and are a far greater risk of infection than tier 1 close contacts.
“These safe and sensible changes to how close contacts are managed are possible because of Victoria’s outstanding work in getting vaccinated,” Mr Foley said.
Camera IconPremier Daniel Andrews announced lockdown will end on Thursday night. NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui Credit: NCA NewsWire
From Friday, up to 10 people including dependants will be able to visit private homes in both regional and metropolitan Melbourne each day.
In metropolitan Melbourne, the curfew and the 15km travel radius will be lifted, but travel into regional Victoria will still be prohibited.
Most outdoor settings – outdoor cafes, cinemas and physical recreation facilities such as pools – will open in Melbourne with up to 50 people per venue but are subject to density limits and only for those fully vaccinated.
Indoor settings like restaurants and cafes will be able to reopen with up to 20 people indoors with density limits and only if all attendees – including workers – are fully vaccinated.
Masks will still be required both indoors and outdoors for all Victorians.Internet Explorer Channel Network