Politics

Victoria COVID update: On track to ease mask rules further on December 15 despite potential Omicron cases


Victoria is still on track to ease its mask rules further in less than a week, despite fears of likely new Omicron cases.

On December 15, the mask rules for customers in retail settings are set to ease and they will no longer need to be worn in settings such as shopping centres.

On Thursday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the 72-hour home quarantine rule for international arrivals and the return of international students is also up for review in one week.

“We’ll just be guided by the growing body of international evidence about the transmissibility of this variant, but also the relatively positive signs that the disease is milder than the Delta variant,” he said.

The premier said he would be discussing the December 15 issues at National Cabinet on Friday.

On Thursday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the 72-hour home quarantine rule for international arrivals and the return of international students is also up for review in one week.
On Thursday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the 72-hour home quarantine rule for international arrivals and the return of international students is also up for review in one week. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

Mr Andrews also reiterated that Victoria is not chasing an “Omicron zero” strategy as other countries including the UK ramp up their restrictions to try and contain the variant.

“That is not a smart thing to do and will not be achieved. This thing is in our country,” he said.

“The good news is we are one of the most highly vaccinated countries and communities anywhere in the world.

“There is a direct link between being vaccinated and being open”.

On Wednesday, Victoria confirmed its first Omicron case, with an investigation still underway into four further cases that might have been in the community.

The confirmed COVID-19 case with the Omicron variant is in a traveller who arrived in Victoria on December 3 on a flight from the Netherlands via Abu Dhabi.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a visit to the Angliss Restaurant in Melbourne.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a visit to the Angliss Restaurant in Melbourne. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

They were taken directly to hotel quarantine and have not been in the community while infectious.



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