Aussie state to end snap COVID-19 lockdown after zero new cases

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SYDNEY, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) — The Australian state of Victoria will emerge from a snap five-day lockdown at midnight Wednesday after recording zero new COVID-19 cases.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed most of the restrictions will be eased from 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

“I want to thank those Victorians who’ve made it possible – and I want to thank every Victorian for their patience,” he said.

“Because of you, we’ve been able to track, trace and corner this mutant and more infectious strain of the virus. It also means we’re able to ease most of the restrictions, getting us back to our COVIDSafe Summer.”

Restaurants, retail and community facilities will reopen, and people will be allowed to leave the home for any reason.

Students will be able to head back to school, and workplaces will return to 50 percent capacity.

However, masks will remain mandatory in all indoor settings except at home and also outdoors when physical distancing is not possible.

Gathering limits will also remain in place. Victorians will only be allowed 5 visitors to the home per day and public gatherings will be limited to 20 people.

Visits to hospitals and aged care homes will also be limited to one household per day.

“I know that’ll be hard. After the past 12 months, all any of us want to do is spend time with the people we love,” Andrews said.

“But by sticking to the rules and being conscious of who we see and how often we see them, we’ll help keep our friends and families safe.” Enditem

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