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COVID-19 rule changes announced

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Apr 20, 2022

HEALTH Minister Martin Foley announced in a press conference today that from 11.59pm on Friday, April 22:

  • People won’t be required to have two vaccination doses or show their vaccination status before entering venues.
  • Staff and patrons at venues no longer have to check-in using the Services Victoria app. Operators are not required to maintain attendance records or have a check-in marshall.
  • Mask will no longer be required in primary schools, early childhood settings, retail settings, or at events of any size.
  • Close contacts will no longer have to quarantine, provided they wear a mask inside and avoid sensitive settings. They will also need to carry out five rapid antigen tests (RATs) over the seven days that they would previously have been in isolation.
  • 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 30,000+ people no longer require public health pre-approval.
  • International travellers who are symptom free will be recommended but not required to take PCR or RAT tests on arrival. Unvaccinated arrivals no longer need to quarantine for seven days.
  • Pre-departure tests for unvaccinated airline crews will also be lifted.
  • People will be exempted from testing or quarantining for 12 weeks if they have previously had COVID-19, up from the current eight weeks.
  • People will be required to inform their workplace social contacts if they contract COVID-19. Workplaces won’t have to notify individuals if they have been exposed, but they will have workplace health and safety responsibilities.

Mr Foley said, “These are sensible measures and they can be taken based on our very high vaccination rates.” He added that there will be a long, plateauing tail to the subvariant wave, “but we’ve passed the peak.”

Two thirds of the eligible community are now triple-dosed with the COVID-19 vaccination. In older Victorians, the rate is 80 per cent to 90 per cent. The omicron wave is starting to subside, and there has been a lowering of case numbers, particularly in the seven day average.

He added, “Only the most important of settings remain, like staying home if you have COVID-19, and visitor restrictions in vulnerable settings such as aged care, disability and some hospitals.”

All workplaces will be required to have COVID-safe plans.

The existing vaccination mandates still apply for workers who currently need double or triple vaccinations, based on the risk profile of these sectors.

Please stay up to date with your vaccination status ahead of a challenging winter. Mr Foley also encouraged people to get a flu shot, as significant outbreaks are expected this winter.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said that these changes are only possible due to the vaccination level achieved. 19 out of 20 people are now double-vaccinated.

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