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Victoria records 1355 COVID-19 cases,11 deaths as Melbourne shops reopen


Victoria has recorded 1355 new local COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths as the state relaxed another round of restrictions.

There are 747 people in hospital with COVID-19, slightly below the seven day average.

135 are in intensive care.

Melbourne residents are finally allowed to travel to regional areas, shop in non-essential retail stores and gather in larger groups, after further restrictions were eased at 6pm last night.

People lined up to pack into shops as the reopening time arrived, unable to wait any longer.

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Although a freak wind storm lashed large parts of Melbourne and surrounds yesterday, conditions have since eased and attention has now been refocussed on the clean-up and enjoying another set of freedoms.

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People from Regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne are also being reunited for the first weekend in months, as movement restrictions between the two was scrapped.

Gyms and entertainment venues have also reopened, though with capacity limits.

Public events will be able to restart for up to 5000 people who are fully vaccinated and masks must only now be worn indoors.

A total of 78.7 per cent of people in the state are fully vaccinated.

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Case numbers still remain high throughout Victoria as well as recent death tallies, however, due to the lower than expected number of hospitalisations, authorities remain confident of the the reopening plan.

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Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there is a trend of cases increasing among younger age groups, with “significant” infections in the 20-40-year-old age group.

He said Victoria’s vaccination rate is expected to continue to rise.

“I’m very confident we’ll get to 90 per cent of the [eligible] population fully vaccinated,” he said, while flagging that some health regulations — like mask-wearing — will last for some time yet.

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