Published: Thu, February 18, 2021
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'So excited': fans return to Australian Open after snap lockdown

'So excited': fans return to Australian Open after snap lockdown

Australia's Victoria state reported no local coronavirus cases on Wednesday, when a snap five-day lockdown is due to end, putting it on track to ease restrictions that were put in place to contain an outbreak in Melbourne.

"We wanted to make sure we took a cautious approach because that's much, much better than getting it wrong and having a large scale outbreak and a long lockdown", she explained.

The bulk of these cases were linked to Melbourne Airport's Holiday Inn and all were presumed to be the United Kingdom strain of the virus, which is proving to be highly contagious and more hard to contain than the original variant.

Under the original crowd restrictions put in place before the tournament, 25,000 fans will be allowed into the Melbourne Park precinct over each of the last four days of the championships.

"We're looking to get back to as close to what that resting COVID-normal was as (soon as) we can but we've got to do that safely".

Victoria recorded two new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and two infections in hotel quarantine on Tuesday, the fourth day of the state's "circuit breaker" lockdown.

"They can go ahead again but the size of them will be dictated by the space in which they are held", Mr Andrews said.

There is still no update on when global arrivals will return to Victoria.

The Northern Territory has revoked Greater Melbourne's status as a COVID-19 hotspot.

"I'm able to say that these numbers, you never want positive cases, but these numbers are pleasing and I think we are well-placed", Mr Andrews said.

Meanwhile, two locations were added to the list of exposure sites overnight - Sacca's Fruit World and BonBon Bakery, both in Broadmeadows Central shopping centre.

Australia has largely avoided the high rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths seen in other developed countries thanks to border closures and effective contact tracing systems.

Ms Cassar defended a number of guests who were filmed wearing garbage bags over their heads during the transfer.

"It is really distressing for them".

"They have been given PPE and have it on".

An estimated 105,000 Victorians with severe mental illness were not receiving specialist care and the cost of poor mental health to the state was about $14.2 billion a year, the interim report said.

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