Why Melbourne is always a threat of losing Australian Open

Victoria lockdown restrictions

The state had already endured two previous lockdowns - including a four-month shutdown of its state capital Melbourne - due to failures in the hotel quarantine scheme.

Victoria recorded zero new locally acquired coronavirus on Thursday and one new case in hotel quarantine.

"From 11:59 p.m. tonight, the restrictions will be dropped [but] masks will be required indoors and outdoors when you can't socially distance".

"The crowd will be capped at 7,477 for each session, which is approximately 50 per cent capacity", explained Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley.

Students will be able to head back to school tomorrow and retail and hospitality will reopen, with the same density limits as those in place before the lockdown. Snap lockdowns ordered by authorities in Australia and New Zealand appear to have worked well in controlling new waves of infections-in contrast to Europe, where restrictions have been less rigourous.

Victoria's five-day lockdown was announced last week amid fears the highly-infectious United Kingdom strain of COVID-19 had spread from the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel at Melbourne Airport into the community.

Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned positive cases were likely to emerge from that group. "They need to not be complacent", he said on Wednesday.

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Mr Andrews emphasised the importance of people getting tested if they experience even mild symptoms.

"The last thing we want is for someone to be visiting a sick relative and making other people sick or in any way contributing to the spread of this virus", Mr Andrews said.

"I'm very, very pleased to announce that the restrictions will come off, nearly all of them, at midnight tonight", said Andrews.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said workplaces would return to 75 per cent capacity "when it is safe to do so".

"But we all have to acknowledge it's not over, it's not gone".

The Northern Territory revoked its COVID-19 hotspot declaration for Greater Melbourne from 6pm ACDT on Wednesday, which means travellers arriving from Victoria will no longer have to undertake 14-days' mandatory supervised quarantine.

Australia has largely avoided the high rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths seen in other developed countries thanks to border closures and effective contact tracing systems.

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