Victoria, South Australia exit lockdown, retail to reopen

Victoria and South Australia are set to see a number of restrictions ease from midnight tonight, as the states’ harder lockdown orders did the job of curbing the spread of the infectious Delta variant.

In Victoria, which saw 10 cases today, stay-at-home orders and the 5 km travel limit will lift tonight alongside the reopening of the retail and hospitality sectors – though with strict density limits in place.

Retailers and hospitality venues can open their doors tomorrow, though can only have 100 people inside at a time, or 300 outside, with a density quotient of one person per square metre, according to Victorian state premier Dan Andrews.

“It is because of their hard work that we are able to make some significant announcements today. It is also because of the hard work of every Victorian, following the rules, getting tested even with the mildest of symptoms, playing your part to keep your family safe and every family safe, and for us to get through this,” Andrews said.

“Essentially, we [are coming] out of this lockdown.”

South Australia is also easing restrictions after seeing zero cases on Tuesday, though masks will be in mandatory in high risk places such as supermarkets or indoor venues.

Andrews said a hard border is set to be announced between Victoria and New South Wales as a result of that state’s worsening outbreak – which recorded 172 cases on Tuesday.

“Keeping the Sydney problem in Sydney and not having it leech out into regional New South Wales and into Victoria makes sense to me,” Andrews said.

“A ring of steel will work. It will, and that’s why I called for it. The New South Wales Government have a different view. I would respectfully say to the New South Wales Government you’re not just making decisions for New South Wales. You’re making decisions for the whole country.”

NSW State Premier Gladys Berejiklian refused to state whether Sydney’s lockdown would end on July 30 as previously indicated, but admitted that the cases aren’t where they want them.

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