Victorians will have more freedom to visit other people’s homes, return to offices and gather outdoors later this week, with virus restrictions set to be further wound back.
The state government is expected to make a formal announcement on virus measures later on Wednesday – as Victoria posted its seventh consecutive day with one or zero local cases.
Wednesday’s doughnut day came from more than 28,000 tests across Victoria.
In further good news, no exposure sites have been added for the state in the past week.
Many of the changes expected to be announced will bring metropolitan Melbourne closer to the level of restrictions in regional Victoria.
The number of people allowed to visit private homes is expected to be increased to at least five in Melbourne, and public outdoor gathering limits will also be raised.
Density limits in workplaces and entertainment venues will also be eased.
Senior government ministers and health officials met on Tuesday night to thrash out the changes. They were meeting again on Wednesday morning to finalise arrangements.
One of the unresolved issues is how many people will be allowed to attend this weekend’s AFL matches at the MCG, and other sporting events due to be held in Melbourne.
Chief health officer Brett Sutton said on Tuesday the state was “absolutely on the right track”. But he would not be drawn on sports crowds.
Also on Tuesday, Professor Sutton declared seven local government areas in NSW as red zones, due to Sydney’s growing virus cluster.
Victorian residents who have been in a red zone can obtain a permit to re-enter the state but must quarantine for 14 days.
The seven declared regions are:
- City of Sydney
- Canada Bay
- Inner West
Wollongong is named as an orange zone. Anyone who has visited that area must apply for a permit to re-enter Victoria, and isolate until they receive a negative test result.
Professor Sutton’s decision came as concerns rose about the spread of the Bondi coronavirus outbreak across Sydney.
It rose to 21 infections on Tuesday, with more exposure sites added. They include two trans-Tasman flights and numerous shops at Westfield Bondi Junction.