Victorian Lockdown to End at Midnight

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed the state’s coronavirus lockdown will be lifted at midnight.

No new COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Victoria in the last 24 hours, with almost 40,000 test results received in that time.

The four reasons for leaving the home and five-kilometre limit will no longer apply, while students will return to classrooms tomorrow.

Restaurants and retail outlets will be able to reopen as will community facilities, entertainment venues, and public places.

Fifty per cent of private and public workers can return to offices.

Mask mandates remain in place, both indoors and outdoors where social distancing is not possible.

Only five visitors will be permitted in homes, and groups of up to 20 people can gather outdoors.

Mr Andrews has told reporters, case numbers would have surged if the state had stayed open.

“It is a certainty, that I would not be reporting zero cases today, and the fact that restrictions are coming off,” he says.

“I would in all likelihood, and indeed beyond that, be reporting a very different set of circumstances – we’ve avoided that; however, this is not over.”

“There are still nine days to go for the 14-day [incubation] period of the last of the positive cases.”

Infectious diseases physician Professor Peter Collignon has told Nine radio, another lockdown was an overreaction.

“It hasn’t turned up any cases that weren’t found by your contact tracers and by appropriate restrictions that you may have put in place,” Professor Collignon says.

“All this lockdown is supposedly [about], or these short lockdowns, is because ‘We can’t be sure we’re going to capture anybody, so we don’t want everybody moving around’ – but that hasn’t been the case.”


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