Victorian vaccine, mask mandates scrapped

Victorians are no longer required to wear masks inside airports as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted across the state.

From Saturday, select vaccine mandates have also been scrapped, including third dose requirements for staff in education, food distribution, meat and seafood processing and quarantine settings.

However, they will remain in place for health workers and those in emergency services.

School staff who had previously been placed on leave without pay for not being fully vaccinated are free to return to work.

Under the new rules, parents will not be informed of a staff member’s vaccination status.

“This is a sensible implementation of minor and progressive changes,” Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“Business wanted a bit of time in the run-up to that and the public health advice was more than happy to give that.”

Employers will set their own requirements around vaccines. Rules requiring employees to work from home if they’re not double dosed have also been lifted.

Aged care and disability care visitor caps have been removed.

Positive cases are permitted to leave home under certain conditions.

“Positive cases must still isolate for seven days from the day they took their test but may now leave home to drive a household member directly to or from education or work without leaving their vehicle,” a statement read.

With case numbers continuing to rise during winter, Australia’s chief medical officer Paul Kelly urged people to get their boosters, along with the flu vaccine.

“The flu vaccine (is) very important now, and right across Australia, that’s been made free for most people, but particularly those who are vulnerable of severe flu,” he said.

“That includes young kids, actually. That’s a difference to the COVID message. We need to increase that flu shot as well.”

Seventy per cent of the eligible population have received their booster.


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