More freedoms coming soon for Melburnians

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More freedoms coming soon for Melburnians
© James Ross/AAP PHOTOS Restaurants, pubs and hairdressers were in hot demand on Melbourne’s first day out of lockdown.

More eased restrictions are on the way for Melburnians, who’ve celebrated their first day out of lockdown.

As the city emerged from its sixth lockdown on Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the state was on track to reach 80 per cent full vaccination by next weekend, paving the way for further restrictions to ease. 

He said he would hold a press conference “quite soon to clarify what we hope can happen at the end of next week”.

“We will deliver faithfully each and every item contained within the Victorian roadmap to deliver the national plan and if we can go further, then, of course, we will make announcements to that effect,” Mr Andrews said. 

According to the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, outdoor masks will be scrapped, statewide travel will return, indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas and theatres, gyms and retail can reopen and capacity limits can increase when the state reaches 80 per cent. 

The state was initially forecast to reach the milestone on November 5. 

Melburnians flocked to cafes, restaurants and pubs, waited in hours-long queues to get haircuts and reunited with friends and family on Friday to mark lockdown lifting. 

But Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has warned daily COVID-19 cases are expected to reach record highs as Melbourne reopens.

“As we start to reopen, there will be more COVID in the community, really than at any other point in time, many of those people will have mild illness because they’re fully vaccinated,” he said, urging Victorians to follow check-in and mask rules. 

Victoria recorded 2189 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths on Friday, the highest daily tally of the state’s third wave.

The state has also announced it will scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers arriving from overseas, bringing the state into line with NSW.

From November 1 international travellers will no longer need to quarantine either at home or in hotels if they are fully vaccinated and test negative to COVID-19 72 hours before their flight and then 24 hours after arrival.

There will also no longer be a cap on fully vaccinated returning Australians wishing to enter Victoria.

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