Victoria scraps domestic travel permits
Victoria's domestic travel permit system has ended, with anyone from Australian states and territories permitted to enter regardless of their vaccination status.
The health department issued a statement late on Thursday stating the traffic light permit system would end from 6pm, on the same day Victoria reached 90 per cent double-dosed in those aged over 12.
Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie said the permits, which were introduced in January 2021, were "designed for a time before we had a vaccine" to prevent virus incursion from other states and territories.
"Now we are a highly vaccinated society and there are fewer cases interstate, the risk is much lower," he said.
While Victoria still has active COVID-19 cases in the community, with 1254 fresh infections reported on Thursday, the department said the permit system was "no longer a proportionate response".
Border bubbles will come to an end and international travellers who complete quarantine in another state will also not require a permit.
International arrivals and aircrew will still be required to abide by their permit provisions.
The change is in line with Phase D of the national plan, the department said, "which foreshadows domestic border restrictions being eased as local vaccination targets are met".
"As such, the red, orange and green zones permits required for entry into Victoria, as well as specified worker permits that allowed certain workers to cross the border for essential work, will no longer be required," it said.
Victoria passed its long-awaited 90 per cent full COVID-19 vaccination milestone on Thursday - the final target tied to its reopening roadmap.
It reported a further five COVID-19 deaths in people aged in their 60s to 90s.
A raft of restrictions were eased across the state on Friday, including the scrapping of hospitality venue caps and masks in most indoor settings, after the Victorian government predicted it would reach the target at the weekend.
Premier Daniel Andrews said he could not be prouder that nine out of ten Victorians had "done the right thing".
"That's why we're open, that's why we're safe," he told reporters on Thursday.
He expects the state will reach 95 per cent full vaccination of its eligible population, given 93.6 per cent of residents aged 12 and over have already received at least their first dose.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also praised the achievement, saying Victorians had "done it tougher than anyone over the past two years".
"Victorians have earned every freedom they now once again enjoy," he tweeted.
But most of the freedoms don't extend to the state's unvaccinated.
Some public health experts argue unvaccinated Victorians without an exemption should no longer be subject to venue bans and other restrictions when the state hits 95 per cent double-dosed.
Mr Andrews has previously flagged the "vaccinated economy" could remain throughout 2022, and last week said it would stay until "at least" Melbourne's Formula One Grand Prix in April.
"It's not going to be there forever," he told reporters on Thursday.
"But we do have boosters to get through, we've got paediatric vaccines to get through. I don't have health advice to get rid of it. So on that basis, it stays."
VICTORIA'S COVID-19 DAILY NUMBERS
* Total deaths: 1306
* Active cases: 10,276, up 502
* Hospital patients: 310, up 26
* Seven-day hospitalisation average: 309
* Actively infectious ICU patients: 48, down four
* Cleared ICU patients: 48, down five
* Patients on a ventilator: 31, up two
* Tests processed: 75,348
* Vaccine doses at state hubs: 4718
© AAP 2021