News State Victoria News Victoria has 8500 cases, with COVID rules set to ease
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Victoria has 8500 cases, with COVID rules set to ease

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The Victorian government is expected to make an announcement on eased virus rules this week. Photo: AAP
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Victoria has posted 8501 COVID-19 cases and nine deaths, as the state government hints further easing of restrictions is on the way.

Of the cases confirmed on Thursday, 5661 were detected through rapid antigen tests and 2840 via PCR lab testing.

Active cases continue to tumble, dropping from 50,967 to 50,042.

There are 401 people with the virus in Victorian hospitals, up four from Wednesday. Of these, 78 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care and 16 require ventilation.

It came as Premier Daniel Andrews foreshadowed possible COVID-19 rule changes as the state’s Omicron wave recedes.

Mr Andrews said he would make some “very important announcements about rules” and “normalising this virus” later this week.

QR code check-ins, venue density limits, indoor mask mandates in offices and a recommendation for people to work from home if possible remain in place in Victoria.

The Victorian government will meet industry leaders on Friday to discuss how public and private sectors will approach a return to offices as part of a regular information sharing forum.

“We have regularly engaged with business and industry throughout the pandemic. This has included forums, roundtables and one-on-one discussions,” a government spokeswoman said.

Mr Andrews had also indicated that once the definition of fully vaccinated was changed to three vaccine doses, this would be extended to Victoria’s vaccinated economy.

But he now says it could be “impractical” to have the rule apply to locals and not international tourists, who will only need two doses to enter Victoria when the overseas border reopens on Monday.