What lockdown end means for Aus Open
Daniel Andrews told Victorians this morning the news they'd all been waiting - and hoping - to hear: the state will emerge from its five-day "circuit-breaker" at midnight tonight.
The Premier told reporters this morning the lockdown was "exactly what we said we needed, exactly what we said would work".
"We've been able to contain this outbreak," he said, as Victoria recorded zero new COVID-19 cases. "I'm very proud of every single Victorian."
While a number of restrictions will remain in place, residents will be able to enjoy life almost rule-free again - and there's one group of people in particular anxiously awaiting new-found freedom will mean for the Australian Open.
Now reaching the pointy end of the tournament, fans are no doubt itching to go and watch the finals.
Sources familiar with the health department's negotiations with Tennis Australia told The Ageand The Sydney Morning Herald that crowds will return to Melbourne Park from tomorrow.
Crowds of up to 30,000 per day were approved for the first days of the event, with the number initially scheduled to be reduced to 25,000 once the quarter-finals began.
But when asked today, Mr Andrews did not confirm a number on how many people will be allowed in, explaining crowds for larger events will be decided on a "case-by-case" basis.
"The criteria is every case on its merits," the Premier said.
"We go through and work through what is a safe number and will get that decision made as soon as possible. That advice will be out there for people as soon as possible.
"They were already reduced (crowd numbers at the Open) but may have to be reduced further. That matter will be resolved in the next few hours."
Tickets for the Open have also been readvertised - but were listed again before the State Government officially confirmed lockdown would come to an end.
Asked what would happen if people have purchased tickets for tomorrow's matches and then aren't allowed to go, the Premier said he assumed fans understood "there would be risk involved" in buying a ticket, "given that we have only made announcements now".
Last week, Tennis Australia had to refund all fans for tickets purchased for the five days of Melbourne's snap lockdown.
As for whether fans will be expected to wear a face mask, the rules in place dictate Victorians must wear a mask indoors and outdoors where social distancing cannot take place.
It's not yet clear - but is expected - that the measure will apply to spectators, after the State Government ruled earlier this month face masks should be worn depending on whether a stadium roof was open or closed.
"In the context of the Australian Open, when the roof is closed at its venues with retractable roofs, these venues are deemed to be indoor spaces under the restrictions and mask use is required by all spectators and officials," a State Government spokesman said at the time.
The rules applied to all three of Melbourne Park's main courts, including Rod Laver and Margaret Court Arenas.
Originally published as What lockdown end means for Aus Open