A coronavirus-related curfew will be lifted in the Australian state of Victoria, the country's COVID-19 epicenter, from Monday as part of an easing of the state's lockdown measures, Premier Daniel Andrews announced at a press conference on Sunday.
"Tonight will be the last night of the curfew. It will be lifted from 05:00 tomorrow [19:00 GMT]," Andrews said.
The state government brought in the curfew, which ran from 21:00-05:00, at the start of August amid a surge in new cases.
Additionally, 127,000 workers will be allowed to return to a range of industries, Andrews stated, adding that stringent sanitary standards should be maintained in these workplaces.
Elementary school students may also return to classes in the week beginning 12 October, and gatherings of people from one household, or two households if there is a maximum of five people, will also be permitted, the state premier said.
While the curfew may be lifted, fines for illegal gatherings, such as house parties, will rise to 5,000 Australian dollars ($3,518), Andrews remarked.
Andrews said that the measures were being taken after the number of active COVID-19 cases in the state fell below 400 for the first time since June 30. In total, 16 new positive tests were reported in the state of Victoria over the past 24 hours, the premier stated.
Victoria has been Australia's epicenter of COVID-19, as over 20,000 of the country's more than 27,000 positive tests have been registered in the state.