Victoria eases COVID-19 restrictions
On Thursday 17 February 2022 Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, announced an easing of COVID-19 measures put in place to contain the state’s Covid-19 Omicron outbreak. The changes announced will be in place from 6pm Friday, 18 February 2022; and include the removal of density limits and the reopening of indoor dance floors.
When these restrictions were put in place in early January, only 12.7 per cent of Victorians had received a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Today, Victoria’s third dose rate is at 52.2 per cent. The number of Victorians in hospital with COVID-19 has more than halved in that same period, with 401 COVID patients today compared to 818 on 10 January.
The Premier indicated that an announcement on workers returning to the office will be made next week. Minister for Education, James Merlino announced an additional 60,000 air purifiers for Victorian schools, on top of the already distributed 51,000. The additional air purifiers will mean that all classrooms including art rooms, ICT, science labs and music rooms will have an air purifier by 1 June 2022.
A full list of today’s announcements can be found below.
As of 6pm, Friday 18 February:
- The mask mandate for indoor spaces remains unchanged.
- The current one person per two square meters density limit in place in hospitality and entertainment venues will be removed. Indoor dancefloors will also be allowed to open.
- QR code check-in and vaccination check requirements will remain in hospitality and entertainment venues.
- The current requirement for twice a week rapid antigen testing will remain in place for the entirety of term one, it was previously the first four weeks.
- Government and low-fee non-government schools will be provided with an additional 60,000 air purifiers, bringing the state’s total contribution to over 111,000 by 1 June.
- QR code check-in requirements will no longer be in place at schools, including childcare and early childhood.
- Staff in schools and early childhood will need to have had a third COVID-19 vaccination dose by 25 February to work on-site.
Returning to work
- The Premier indicated that changes to work from home advice may be announced late next week.
- Hospital worker ‘bubbles’ will be removed, however health services may implement them at their discretion.
- QR code check-in requirements will be removed.
- International arrivals will no longer be required to obtain an international arrivals permit through Service Victoria. The current 14-day hotel quarantine requirement for international travelers and aircrew who are not fully vaccinated or medically exempt will be reduced to 7 days.
To access the media release on changes to COVID settings, click here.
To access the media release on COVID safe measures for schools, click here.
Further Hawker Britton Occasional Papers on the activities of the Victorian Government are available here.