Bars and restaurants reopen as Victoria exits sixth lockdown

Victoria’s sixth lockdown has officially come to an end, bringing to a close a world record 263 days of strict stay-at-home restrictions.

The state’s COVID cases surged to 2,232 new local infections on Thursday ahead of the reopening of Melbourne and Mildura.

Health authorities also confirmed the deaths of 12 people.

The easing of restrictions allows hospitality venues, including bars and restaurants, to open their doors.

Meanwhile, 10 guests are allowed in homes, the curfew has been scrapped, and students will make a scattered return to classrooms.

Further relaxations – including the full opening of retail – will be implemented when the 80 per cent vaccination target is reached.

It comes as Victoria reached its 70 per cent double dose vaccine target.

Meanwhile, 90 per cent of the state’s eligible population has received their first dose of the vaccine.