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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Aged care visitor restrictions to stay as Victoria eases COVID rules

With almost 70% of adults now armed with their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Victoria will move into winter with most pandemic restrictions removed from midnight on Friday.

As part of the Minister for Health’s changes to pandemic orders:

  • Patrons won’t be required to have two doses or show their vaccination status before entering any venue
  • The requirement for staff and patrons of venues to check-in using the Service Victoria app will end, with operators not required to keep any attendance records or maintain a check-in marshal
  • Masks will no longer be required in primary schools, early childhood, hospitality and retail settings, or at events of any size
  • Close contacts will no longer have to quarantine – provided they wear a mask indoors and avoid sensitive settings. They will also need to undertake at least five negative rapid tests over the seven days that would previously have been the self-quarantine period
  • All visitor restrictions in hospitals will be removed except for mask requirements, with health services able to tailor their own settings based on their own circumstances
  • Events with more than 30,000 people will no longer require public health pre-approval

Under the new rules, international travellers who are symptom-free will be recommended but not required to get a PCR or rapid test on arrival, and unvaccinated travellers will no longer complete 7 days’ quarantine. Pre-departure tests for unvaccinated air crew will also be lifted

People will also be exempt from testing or quarantine for 12 weeks if they’ve had COVID-19 – up from 8 weeks previously.

“This sensible easing of restrictions is only possible because we are one of the most vaccinated societies in the world, with almost 70 per cent of Victorian adults already armed with their third dose,” said Health Minister, Martin Foley (pictured, left, with Premier Daniel Andrews).

“The vaccinated economy kept Victorians safe and businesses open during an unpredictable time when we saw our highest case numbers ever – but now is the right time to set it aside and focus on the highest risk settings.

“Many things that are very effective in driving down transmission will remain strongly recommended. That will keep us protected during winter and help us respond to emerging risks.”

The Minister said a number of “critical and common-sense settings” will be retained, including the essential requirement to isolate for seven days following a COVID-19 diagnosis and existing two-dose and three-dose vaccination mandates for workers. 

Visitor restrictions in care facilities will also be retained to protect the vulnerable, he said.

Residents can currently have up to five visitors per day if each show a negative rapid antigen test result – or two visitors if no test results are provided.

Face coverings will still be required on public transport and at airports – excluding airport workers who aren’t public facing – and in sensitive health, aged care and justice settings. All workplaces will still require a COVIDSafe Plan.

Many rules which are no longer required will be recommended, including working from home if you’re a close contact exempt from quarantine. Masks are strongly recommended when you can’t physically distance.

See more information at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

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