Lockdown ends but rule to stay

Daniel Andrews announced a slew of welcome changes earlier this afternoon – including news that Melbourne’s lockdown will finally come to an end at midnight tomorrow.

A number of restrictions will be rolled back by Wednesday morning – with more to come on Sunday, November 8.

“Fundamentally, this belongs to every single Victorian, every single Victorian who has followed the rules, stayed the course, worked with me and my team, to bring this second wave to an end,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

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But there’s one rule that the Victorian Premier said would be sticking with his state for the long haul.

“We are not indicating any easing of masks today,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

“Masks are incredibly important. Difficult, you know, not particularly pleasant, but for a very low cost we get potentially a very, very high benefit.

“That’s why we’re going to persist with those for a while. We’re not quite sure how long.

“It may be that the settings change, potentially, but masks are going to be, particularly when you’re going to be proximate with other people, a feature. It is a very low cost for a very big gain.”

The other change not yet outlined in any of the Victorian Government’s reopening plans is when people can head back to the office – though they’ll likely hear more soon.

The Premier said residents shouldn’t expect an announcement regarding that until November 8, encouraging them to keep working from home if they can.

“We’ll get people back into offices as quickly as we can and as safely as we can,” he said.

“It won’t be everyone going in at once, de facto crowds, 20, 30, 40 people all jammed in close for hours on end. We have to be cautious about that.”

On Monday, Victoria recorded no new COVID-19 cases or deaths for the first time since June.

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Serena Maddox

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