Victoria drops travel restrictions with NSW as state records 1343 cases, 10 deaths

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Fully vaccinated Victorian residents are waking to a border with NSW that is all but open as the state recorded 1343 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths on Friday.

The Department of Health reports there are 634 people in hospital, with 109 in intensive care and 73 on a ventilator. Around 82 per cent of eligible Victorians are fully vaccinated.

Melburnians flocked to the beach earlier this week.Credit:Paul Jeffers

More than 66,150 test results were returned across Thursday, with 14,255 vaccination doses administered in state-run centres. There are now 18,952 active cases of the virus.

The first national cabinet meeting since the start of October will take place on Friday afternoon, with discussion to centre on the country’s booster shot program and vaccinations for young children under 12, as well as international borders and quarantine measures.

The meeting comes after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced that COVID-19 restrictions separating the two states would be removed at 11.59pm on Thursday, allowing travel across the border for the fully vaccinated.

Victoria’s Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie declared that from 11.59pm, the ACT and all remaining “orange zones” in NSW would become “green zones” under the state’s traffic light travel permit system.

There are no requirements for fully vaccinated Victorians entering NSW – unless they have been to a place of high concern – but those over the age of 16 who are not fully vaccinated are not allowed to enter NSW for recreation or a holiday.

NSW travellers need to obtain a travel permit to enter Victoria.

“Victoria and NSW have been through so much over the last few months, and we’re pleased that more families will now be able to reunite just in time for Christmas and the holiday season,” Mr Andrews said.

Victoria’s latest exposure sites include a trampoline venue and a bowling alley in Geelong.

Bounce trampoline centre in Grovedale is listed as an exposure site on October 28, while the Oz Tenpin Bowling centre in the suburb of Belmont was visited by a positive case on October 29.

Both venues are considered tier 1, with patrons required to get a test immediately and isolate for 14 days.

With Rachel Clun, Katina Curtis and Cassandra Morgan

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