New rules: Masks will remain compulsory indoors and outdoors, but Victorians can leave their homes for any reason. Photo: JAMES ROSS/ AAP IMAGE

VICTORIA will come out of its fifth lockdown at midnight tonight but masks will remain "inside and outside and always" for the moment, according to Premier Daniel Andrews. Speaking to reporters this morning, Mr Andrews said "the hard work of every Victorian" had allowed the state government to announce the significant changes. However, so key restrictions remain with no visitors would be allowed in homes for at least two weeks. "We understand that will be challenging for people who have not seen family and friends for a couple of weeks now, and many for longer periods than that, but we know this is where transmission occurs,” Mr Andrews said. "I know that’s not the news people want to hear but it incredibly important that we regard home as what it is, it is in many respects from a transmission of this virus point of view, the highest risk environment." In accommodation settings, the same rules apply as if you are at your home. "You can’t be going away with other families, you can’t be having visitors to your temporary home, the accommodation that you might seek to use over the next couple of weeks," Mr Andrews said. "If you are going away, that’s fine, but it has got to be your family unit and the rules apply as if you are in your family home. No visitors, no shared holidays." There are also tougher border restrictions with NSW. The City of Wagga Wagga, Hay Shire Council, Lockhart Shire Council and Murrumbidgee Council will no longer be included in the cross-border bubble. Victoria’s COVID-19 rule changes include: -From 11.59pm tonight, Victorians will be able to leave their homes for any reason. Restaurants and cafes can also reopen for seated service (with up to 100 people). Retail and beauty and personal care will open in line with density limits, as will entertainment venues and community facilities -The Authorised Worker List will no longer apply, meaning businesses and venues can reopen with capacity and density limits of 1 person per 4sqm. Victoria will return to the rule that ‘if you can work from home, you should work from home’ but office workers will be able to return up to 25 per cent or up to 10 people, whichever is greater -Schools will re-open for onsite learning to all students from tomorrow (Wednesday, July 27) -Public gatherings will be allowed with up to 10 people, with infants under 12 months not included in the cap -Due to the significant transmission risk seen throughout the pandemic, gatherings in the home are still not permitted. People will only be able to book accommodation with their household, intimate partner or single bubble person -People will be free to visit ski fields again, but due to the higher risk in these settings entry to Victoria’s alpine resorts will require a COVID test and receipt of a negative result within 72 hours before visiting. -Children under 12 years of age are not required to be tested -Live music venues, dance classes and physical recreation facilities, including gyms, will all open with density requirements of 1 person per 4sqm -A maximum of 50 people will be permitted at weddings. Funerals will also have a cap of 50 mourners, plus those conducting the funeral. Infants under 12 months are not included in the cap for either -Masks will continue to be required everywhere indoors and outdoors (except private residences), unless an exception applies -Community sport and practice is again allowed for children and adults.   See a full list of new COVID-19 rules here.  
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