Covid-19: As the state reopens, Victoria records 1355 new cases and 11 deaths.

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Victoria has recorded the deaths of 11 more people as a result of Covid-19, as well as 1355 new cases.

Shoppers queue to enter a department store in Melbourne, as the city further lifts Covid restrictions.

Shoppers queue to enter a department store in Melbourne, as the city further lifts Covid restrictions. Photo: AFP or licensors

The deaths take the total toll in the current Delta outbreak to 293. There are currently 747 people in Victorian hospitals with COVID-19, including 135 receiving intensive care.

The new infections were found from 68,484 test results processed on Friday.

Meanwhile, NSW has recorded 236 new cases of Covid-19 and three further deaths.

The latest figures were released as Victoria woke to its first full day on the same level of restrictions after months of extended lockdowns and a ban on travel from Melbourne to the rest of the state.

The changes came into effect from 6pm on Friday, at which point non-essential retailers, entertainment venues, cinemas and gyms were allowed to open their doors.

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Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the crowds in the CBD on Friday gave city businesses a confidence boost after months of struggling.

“That sense of relief to see people coming back in, smiles on everybody’s faces and I think really today we’ll seal that sense of confidence,” she said.

“Is this real? Yes it is, we are open and we are staying open.”

Capp said retailers and other city businesses were expecting a “bumper Christmas” after research showed Victorians were deferring their spending until the end of lockdown.

Masks are no longer required outdoors where physical distancing is possible and people can travel to anywhere in the state for any reason.

Caps remain on social gatherings and only fully vaccinated people can attend most events and hospitality venues.

The lifting of restrictions was planned to coincide with the state reaching a target of having 80 per cent of people aged 16 and over fully vaccinated.

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The most recent federal data showed 79.7 per cent of that cohort had received both doses by the end of Friday, and the state is expected to reach the 80 per cent mark today.

Today will also mark the final day Victorian health officials will hold a daily Covid-19 press conference.

The next step out of lockdown will occur when 90 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and above have had both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

ABC

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