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Victoria ditches one unpopular coronavirus restriction after complaints about safety

Victorians will be allowed to drive within 5km of their home to exercise after complaints about the safety of locals.   

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton will work with Victoria Police to loosen the restriction, which previously carried a fine of $1652.  

‘We are aware that people have talked about that as an unreasonable constraint,’ Prof Sutton said.

‘I don’t want anyone to feel unsafe getting to a place of exercise.’

Victorian residents who have outstanding fines from when it was considered a breach will be able to request a review and apply for it to be waived.

The Department of Health and Human Services website will be updated to clarify that driving within 5km of your home is no longer prohibited.

The easing of the restriction comes after police on Wednesday warned Victorians not to drive somewhere else to exercise, even if it was within 5km of their house. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has also advised that sitting in parks or on park benches is allowed while exercising with one other person.

Victorians still aren’t allowed to exercise more than once a day or for over an hour, and only with one other person from outside their household.  

Residents can visit the beach if they live within 5km of one, but all indoor sports, gyms and pools remain closed.

Prof Sutton is hoping for a day without a single new outbreak, in the wake of a growing list of encouraging COVID-19 trends.

The state recorded 216 new infections on Wednesday, its lowest daily increase in cases in more than five weeks, while the number of active cases dropped by 119.

Mr Sutton said only four new outbreaks had been detected in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning, fuelling hopes that the worst is over for the nation’s most-affected state.

‘That is the smallest number (of outbreaks) we’ve seen in for many, many weeks,’ he told reporters.

‘So trending in the right direction but I would like to see a day of zero new outbreaks and very little community transmission.’

He said Wednesdays were usually a ‘spike day’ following testing over the weekend. 

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