Australia

Victoria records 20 new local COVID-19 cases as the regions emerge from lockdown

Victoria has recorded 20 new locally acquired coronavirus cases, as lockdown ends for those in the regions.

The health department confirmed all the new cases are linked to known outbreaks, while five were in quarantine during their infectious periods.

Some 34,892 tests were processed in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning, while 22,670 Victorians were vaccinated at a state-run hub.

It comes as regional Victoria came out of lockdown at 11:59pm on Monday, given no exposure sites or COVID-19 cases have been detected outside of Melbourne.

A number of restrictions remain in place for the regions, including a ban on home visits and compulsory mask-wearing both indoors and outdoors.

City dwellers trying to flee Melbourne and head to regional areas will face fines upwards of $5,000, as about 200 police are deployed to main and back roads across the state.

Businesses that are open in regional Victoria but closed in Melbourne, such as restaurants and beauty salons, must check the IDs of customers.

Meanwhile in Melbourne, there are more than 12,000 close contacts of infected cases self-isolating and almost 250 exposure sites.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday said it was still too early to say whether lockdown could end as planned at 8pm on Thursday.

He said he was hoping to see the number of infectious cases in the community drop between now and then.

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