Victoria's snap five-day lockdown will end on time

Victoria's snap five-day lockdown will end on time

While stay-at-home restrictions will be removed, masks will still be required in all areas where social distancing isn't possible.

A snap five-day lockdown had been ordered for Victoria state Friday after a small outbreak of the more infectious United Kingdom coronavirus variant prompted fears Australia's successful battle to contain the pandemic could be undone.

The four reasons to leave home order - limiting travel to essential work, shopping, care and exercise - will be repealed along with the 5 kilometre radius rule.

Australian Open had earlier barred spectators until the end of the lockdown.

"We will finish up with people be able to move freely because this short and sharp circuit breaker lockdown has worked", Andrews said.

The five-day lockdown forced the test to be pushed back from its original scheduled date yesterday back to this coming Friday.

Auckland is also hosting a major sporting event - the America's Cup yachting regatta - which is expected to resume this week with crowds watching from the shoreline restricted to 100. Weddings and funerals will be permitted both indoors and outdoors, but remain subject to patron density limits.

Officials said no additional locally acquired cases were found on Wednesday.

Attendance will be capped at 7,477 per session, approximately 50 percent of Rod Laver Arena's capacity.

The state of Victoria recently saw a cluster of 19 cases emerge after a person working at a Melbourne hotel housing quarantined cases unknowingly caught the United Kingdom variant of the virus and carried it into the community.

But people will still be required to wear masks and visitors to homes will be limited to five people until February 26 when the last of the state's 25 active COVID-19 cases will no longer be infectious.

"I can't stand here and be honest with people and say this will never, ever happen again", he said.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton urged Victorians to be vigilant, saying people identified as close contacts of existing COVID-19 must see out their remaining quarantine periods.

New South Wales, the country's most populous state, on Tuesday recorded 30 straight days without a local Covid-19 case, the first time since the pandemic began.

Almost 40,000 tests were processed in the state over Tuesday.

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