National News

Victoria dumps mandatory outdoor masks

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Victorians can breathe a sigh of relief, with months of compulsory face mask-wearing coming to an end as part of a further lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced the changes to take effect from midnight.

"Masks will be required inside in all settings, they will not be required while outside," he told reporters.

"However you need to carry the mask with you because you will have to wear the mask outside if you can't socially distance."

Melburnians have been required to wear compulsory face masks outdoors since mid-July, as the city was struck by its deadly second wave of coronavirus.

As cases leaked out of the city, the mask rules were implemented for regional Victorians in early August.

Other new rule tweaks from Monday include 15 home visitors per day, up from two, while outdoor public gatherings can have up to 50 people.

The latest changes to social restrictions were unveiled as the state extended its streak without a new COVID-19 infection to 23 straight days. There remains only one active case in Victoria.

Mr Andrews outlined additional moves back to normality, including up to 30 home visitors per day from December 13 - just in time for Christmas.

"That is not 30 for lunch and 30 for dinner, it is 30 across the course of the day," he said.

"I know that will be a large enough number for some families, and for others they will need to do some juggling."

A fourth of Victoria's workforce will be permitted back in workplaces from November 30, while the rest will have to continue working from home.

Public sector workers are not part of the 25 per cent cap, allowing more private sector businesses to benefit.

The premier flagged the next set of COVID-19 rule changes - likely the last before the end of the year - would be announced on December 6.

"I want to get to a situation where in the next couple of weeks we can lock in the rules and then people will know and have certainty that they are there for the whole summer," Mr Andrews said.

It came as Victoria reopened to South Australia after a brief "hard border" was replaced overnight by a permit system.

SA residents can get a permit via the Services Victoria website but Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said not everyone would be eligible.

"For people from South Australia who are exposed to the South Australian government's defined high-risk sites, you will not be granted a permit," he said.

Communities in a 70km bubble around the interstate border can continue using the SA government-issued permit they used for months previously.

Those receiving or providing emergency medical care or services or who reside on a property that straddles the border are exempt from the permit requirement.

NSW and the ACT are due to open their borders to Victoria on Monday.

© AAP 2020

Photo: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. (AAP Image/James Ross)