Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews ushered in the new changes on Thursday morning ahead of the eased restrictions at 6pm.
Mr Andrews congratulated Victorians and said he hoped the state could now “get back to normal”.
“At 6 o’clock, we’ll be able to celebrate the success, get back to normal: a big step, a really big step,” he said on Thursday morning.
“Victorians have achieved an amazing thing and it’s them I’m focused on.”
Australia avoids second COVID-19 recession despite extended lockdowns
Shoppers in their hundreds flocked to major retail hubs such as Chadstone and Bourke St Mall ahead of the 6pm re-opening time, according to the Herald Sun.
The rush into stores such as David Jones and Kmart was somewhat slowed as shoppers had to use QR codes to check in.
As well as the return to retail, the West Gate Bridge was jammed with hundreds of Melbourne families heading to the regions after four months of lockdown.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said officers will show discretion if residents were spotted leaving metropolitan Melbourne before 6pm.
Shoppers are seen at the entrance of David Jones department store just prior to opening on October 29, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Getty
Traffic is banked up heading onto the West Gate Bridge on Friday afternoon as Melburnians are able to travel to regional Victoria after lockdown restrictions eased. Picture: NCA
Melburnians have suffered more than nine months under stay-at-home orders across six lockdowns since the beginning of the pandemic.
The latest easing of restrictions marks Victoria’s successful vaccine rollout as 78.7 per cent of the eligible population have rolled up their sleeves for the COVID-19 jab.
Premier Andrews has moved alongside NSW in following the national roadmap out of COVID-19 with restrictions easing as vaccines increased.
Industry leaders and politicians have hailed October 29 as the “real Freedom Day” with more restrictions eased.
It comes as Victoria recorded 1,656 new local COVID-19 cases and ten deaths on Friday.
Victoria records 1,656 new COVID-19 cases and 10 further deaths
From Friday October 29 at 6pm:
The border around Melbourne will be dropped meaning residents can travel anywhere in the state
Masks will remain mandatory indoors but are no longer required outdoors, where social distancing is possible
10 people including dependents can visit your home per day
Up to 30 people can gather in public outside
Most indoor settings, including restaurants, pubs, gyms and hairdressers will open with no caps subject to a one person per 4sqm, if all staff and patrons are fully vaccinated
Most outdoor settings will have a limit of up to 500, where staff and patrons are fully vaccinated
Entertainment and retail venues can re-open from 6pm
Outdoor seated and non-seated entertainment venues including stadiums, zoos and tourism attractions will be open with a limit of up to 5,000 where staff and patrons are fully vaccinated
Indoor and outdoor settings will also apply to weddings, funerals and religious gatherings if vaccination status is known
Events – such as music festivals – will be able to host up to 5,000 attendees, subject to any restrictions related to the venue

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