‘Something like normal’: Victoria lifts nearly all remaining restrictions

By Jackson Graham

Thursday November 18, 2021

Daniel Andrews
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (AAP Image/James Ross)

Nearly all of Victoria’s remaining COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, with the state on track to reach 90% of people aged over 12 fully vaccinated. 

Premier Daniel Andrews said the milestone was allowing Victoria to “return to something like the normal life we remember”.

The state on Thursday recorded 1007 positive coronavirus cases and 12 deaths. 

The shift means for fully vaccinated people, there are no caps on visitors to homes, and full numbers for cafes and restaurants can return. 

The requirement for people to be vaccinated to participate in many activities and events will continue. 

And masks will remain in some settings, which in the public sector include for corrections; staff and visitors at primary schools; among years 3 to 6 students; on public transport; and select workers in hospitals and care facilities. 

From Friday, most people who are close contacts of a confirmed positive case outside their home won’t have to self-quarantine but will have to get a PCR test and isolate until the result returns negative. 

The change means exposure sites like offices and restaurants won’t automatically result in quarantine for those who attended. 

But the Department of Health can impose a quarantine period on contacts on a case-by-case basis as it follows the evidence of emerging outbreaks of concern and “superspreader events”. 

A list of exposure sites will no longer be published online, and instead the department will alert people through the Service Victoria app if they have attended higher-risk venues. 

The department will also stop tracing and managing further contacts, with individuals who test positive then strongly recommended to tell their social contacts their positive status and to encourage them to get tested. 

“With a simple call-to-action, the advice can move faster when the individual is empowered to do it among the people they know,” a statement from the government said. 

Cases are required to notify their workplace, school or childcare about their positive result, the government says. 

Once informed by the case, workplaces will also have to identify and notify employees and sub-contractors – but not customers – who were exposed to advise them to get tested.

In addition to isolation changes for contacts, people who have COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days, instead of 14 days.

The government says the changes are based on Victoria’s public health expert advice, and the Burnet Institute modelling, behavioural insights and international experience – and balance “public health risks and social disruptions”. 


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