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Melbourne's lockdown to end tomorrow, officials confirm, but travel to remain limited

Melbourne's lockdown will end after two weeks but some Covid-19 restrictions for the city, and regional Victoria, will remain.

A woman wearing a face-covering walks past Luna Park in St Kilda, Melbourne. Source: istock.com

Acting Premier James Merlino has confirmed the extended "circuit breaker" lockdown will cease at 11.59pm (local time) tomorrow, ending stay-at-home orders.

But in its place will be a raft of easier restrictions, including a 25km travel limit to keep Melbourne residents out of the regions over the Queen's Birthday long weekend.

"That means the only reasons to go further than 25km will be for work, education, caregiving or getting a vaccination," Mr Merlino told reporters on Wednesday.

"Travel into regional Victoria still remains a no-go for now."

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The announcement came as health authorities in New Zealand said three returnees from Melbourne were caught trying to evade quarantine. Source: 1 NEWS

Under the changes for Melbourne, students can return to schools, food and hospitality venues can reopen for seated service only and outdoor gatherings are permitted for up to 10 people.

A ban on home gatherings remains and masks are still compulsory indoors and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

Melbourne offices can reopen with a 25 per cent workforce cap but authorities are still asking people to work from home if they can.

Mr Merlino said the state was also moving to make QR check-ins compulsory at all workplaces, with very limited exemptions.

Regional Victorians can also welcome two guests a day into their homes from Friday, as part of the eased restrictions.

The statewide lockdown was sparked by a leak from a South Australian quarantine hotel involving a man who returned home to Victoria, leading to almost 100 infections.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it had been an "awfully painful period" and authorities had no other option to bring the outbreak under control.

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New cases of the coronavirus have now been detected in two resthomes. Source: Breakfast

"I have always had in mind that we need to do what is required to make sure that we get back down to zero," he said.

"There is really no alternative. Our national strategy of aggressive suppression is there for a reason."

Some Melbourne businesses such as gyms, amusement parks, dance studios and nightclubs will remain closed, on health advice.

Mr Merlino said a further NZ$9 million would be added to the state government's lockdown package to support businesses that cannot reopen yet.

Victoria reported just one new Covid-19 case on Wednesday. It's linked to the Port Melbourne outbreak at Stratton Finance and the person has been quarantining during their entire infectious period.

It comes as authorities continue to investigate a link between an outbreak of the more infectious Delta strain and a hotel quarantine case, a man in his 40s, who returned from Sri Lanka on May 8.

Genomic sequencing shows his infection is identical to one of two families linked to the North Melbourne Primary School, which has emerged as the epicentre of the West Melbourne outbreak.

How the virus spread between the two groups remains a mystery, with no obvious breach of infection prevention control protocols.

Some 28,485 Victorians were tested on Tuesday and 19,533 received a vaccine dose at state-run sites.

There are now 83 active cases across the state.