Home Source code Dan Andrews scraps most Covid rules including no dancing and QR codes

Dan Andrews scraps most Covid rules including no dancing and QR codes

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Daniel Andrews has removed most Covid restrictions in Victoria in a dramatic change in the way his state is handling the pandemic.

The Prime Minister has announced that almost all the rules introduced in December and January to combat the Omicron wave will be scrapped from Friday.

However, masks will remain compulsory indoors for now, but Health Minister Martin Foley said he was ‘confident’ to release that later today.

Indoor hotel density limits capping guests at one per two square meters will be removed and dance floors reopened.

New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet is expected to announce similar relaxed rules at 12:30 p.m. as the two states try to coordinate their Covid responses.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has lifted most Covid restrictions in Victoria in a sweeping change to how his state is handling the pandemic

QR code check-ins, including vaccine requirements, will be scrapped for shops, schools and staff in 'many workplaces' (pictured, a woman logs in using a QR code in Melbourne)

QR code check-ins, including vaccine requirements, will be scrapped for shops, schools and staff in ‘many workplaces’ (pictured, a woman logs in using a QR code in Melbourne)

Mr Andrews said the booster vaccination rate for over-15s was just 12.7% when the density rules were introduced on January 6, compared to 52.2% today.

When the dance floor’s closure was announced on January 10, 818 Victorians were in hospital with Covid-19, up from 401 on Thursday.

“That’s exactly what we said we would do,” the prime minister said. “We would have rules for not a moment longer than they were needed.”

QR code check-ins, including vaccine requirements, will be scrapped for shops, schools and staff in “many workplaces”.

However, they will still be needed in hospitality and entertainment settings although contact tracing is not rigorously carried out.

Mr Andrews (pictured) said the main reason QR codes would remain in hospitality and entertainment venues these settings was to keep unvaccinated Victorians out

Mr Andrews (pictured) said the main reason QR codes would remain in hospitality and entertainment venues these settings was to keep unvaccinated Victorians out

Mr Andrews said the main reason QR codes would remain within these specific settings was to keep unvaccinated Victorians out.

The Prime Minister said that while health officials were not tracking people’s movements at the moment, “that does not mean that we will not be contacting the trace again in the future”.

“But, at the end of the day, it’s just the simplest and easiest thing to do to validate that you’re vaccinated and cleared to be in the pub or restaurant,” he said.

“If it’s a (vaccinated) economic environment (where you) need to be vaccinated, you continue to register.”

Key industries like meat processing and supply chains where staff needed to be regularly tested for Covid will no longer have to.

“These mandates will become recommended only, reflecting the decline in community transmission,” Mr Andrews said.

Indoor hotel density limits capping guests at one per two square meters will be scrapped and dance floors reopened (pictured, punters in St Kilda)

Indoor hotel density limits capping guests at one per two square meters will be scrapped and dance floors reopened (pictured, punters in St Kilda)

“Requirements for hospital worker bubbles will also be removed, but health services can still implement them at their discretion.”

RELAXING RESTRICTIONS IN VICTORIA:

From Friday 18 February:

– Density limit of 2 m² removed

– QR codes are no longer required in some stores, schools, and many workspaces. But still required in hospitality and entertainment venues

– Indoor dance floors may reopen

– The 14-day hotel quarantine requirement for unvaccinated international travelers is reduced to seven days

From Friday 25 February:

– Government hopes to ease mask rules and work-from-home recommendations, but has yet to make an official announcement

International travelers will no longer need an arrival permit through Service Victoria and unvaccinated passengers will only need seven days of hotel quarantine.

Mr Foley will also ‘consider’ scrapping the recommendation for Victorians to work from home and allowing office workers to remove masks.

“I’m sure you’ll see us back here next week, confirming the mask arrangements,” he said.

Mr Andrews said he hoped Victorians would be back in office next Friday and that all Civil Service staff would be working at least three days a week.

“We are confident that we can get to a situation next Friday where the masks are removed in the office and the advice will change … people will then be free and in fact we will encourage them to return to the office, ”he told the journalists.

“We have always said that these measures would not be in place for a minute longer than necessary, and with fewer hospitalizations and less pressure on our health care system, now is the time to make changes,” Andrews said.

“We are grateful to everyone who has done the right thing, helping to reduce the impact of this virus on the community, our healthcare system and our economy.”

Mr Foley said dropping recording for shops and schools would allow healthcare staff to focus on the highest-risk settings most likely to generate superspreading events.

The Prime Minister announced that almost all rules introduced in December and January to combat the Omicron wave would be scrapped from Friday (pictured, pedestrians in Melbourne)

The Prime Minister announced that almost all rules introduced in December and January to combat the Omicron wave would be scrapped from Friday (pictured, pedestrians in Melbourne)

Mr Andrews (pictured with Health Minister Martin Foley (left) and Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino (right) warned restrictions could be reinstated if a new variant emerges

Mr Andrews (pictured with Health Minister Martin Foley (left) and Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino (right) warned restrictions could be reinstated if a new variant emerges

However, Mr Andrews warned that restrictions could be reinstated if a new variant emerged, which was a significant possibility.

The state government will pledge to distribute an additional 24 million rapid antigen tests to schools and childcare services.

School testing programs will continue throughout the first term, with pupils being asked to self-test twice a week, while teachers and staff at special schools are encouraged to test themselves five times a week. week.

The measure, which will continue for the full 10 weeks of the term instead of the first four, is expected to prevent up to 150,000 community infections.

Education Minister James Merlino said the 2022 school year had started ‘safely’ and ‘successfully’ and said that with high vaccination rates, purifiers and RAT schools would have the best chance of staying open.

Mr Andrews confirmed there were no plans to make it compulsory for Victorians to have three knocks to enter pubs and restaurants (pictured, Melbourne health staff)

Mr Andrews confirmed there were no plans to make it compulsory for Victorians to have three knocks to enter pubs and restaurants (pictured, Melbourne health staff)

The state government will pledge to distribute an additional 24million rapid antigen tests to schools and childcare services (pictured, pedestrians in Sydney)

The state government will pledge to distribute an additional 24million rapid antigen tests to schools and childcare services (pictured, pedestrians in Sydney)

The state will also donate an additional 60,000 air purifiers to cover all government classrooms and low-cost non-government classrooms.

Mr Andrews confirmed there were no plans to make it compulsory for Victorians to have three knocks to enter pubs and restaurants.

He said the notion of a three-dose mandate would be unfair given that international tourists only needed two to travel freely across the state.

“We’re going to have hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tourists and other visitors from around the world coming and going through our community and our economy and across the country,” Andrews said.

“And they will only need two (doses) to get in. So that kind of answer to that question of course.