Victoria has recorded the deaths of a further 14 COVID-19 patients.
- The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 has risen to 451, up from 401 yesterday
- Melbourne’s Lord Mayor has welcomed the easing of restrictions which comes into effect tonight
- There will be no crowd limits at stadiums in Victoria when the AFL season starts next month
The number of people in hospital after contracting the virus sits at 451, up from the 401 reported on Thursday.
Of the people in hospital, 64 are in intensive care units and 16 are on ventilators.
The state has reported 6,935 new infections. That tally includes 2,606 positive PCR tests and 4,329 positive rapid antigen test notifications.
It takes the number of officially reported active infections to 48,852, down from 50,042 on Wednesday.
About 54 per cent of the state’s adult population has now had a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
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The new cases come as an easing of COVID-19 restrictions is about to come into effect at 6pm Friday.
Under the changes, density limits will be removed at hospitality venues, and QR check-ins will no longer be required in shops, schools and some workplaces.
International arrivals will no longer need to apply for a permit to enter the state, and unvaccinated travelers from overseas will have their quarantine periods reduced from 14 days to seven.
The government said mandatory mask rules would be revisited next week but would remain unchanged for now.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp welcomed the easing of restrictions, but said she was hoping for mask mandates in offices to be wound back.
“This easing of restrictions really says to everyone we can feel comfortable and safe now in higher density environments and it is OK to boogie the night away. These are important steps forward in revitalizing our city,” she said.
“We really need a couple of things: one, a change to the work-from-home advice; and also then really clear instructions about what does it mean once we’re in the workplace? Can we have masks off at the desk, at the least?”
No crowd caps for AFL season start
There will be no limits on the number of people who can attend AFL matches at stadiums in Victoria when the new season begins next month.
The state government has confirmed the MCG and Docklands Stadium have approved Covid-safe plans to host capacity crowds.
Patrons will be required to check-in with the Services Victoria app to confirm their vaccination status, while masks must be worn when moving around the stadium but not when seated outdoors.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said it would be sensational to have no crowd limits for round one, when all 10 Victorian teams play in Melbourne.
“I think it’s going to be much more akin to the footy experience of old,” he said.