Mandatory outdoor mask rules in Victoria are no more, as the NSW border reopens to the state ending months of exile.

As part of sweeping changes effective from midnight on Monday, Victorians no longer have to wear masks outdoors unless unable to safely physically distance.

They must still wear masks in indoor environments including workplaces, supermarkets and public transport, and carry them at all times.

Melburnians have been required to wear face masks outside since mid-July, with the edict extended to regional Victoria in early August.

Other rule tweaks from Monday include 15 home visitors being allowed per day, up from two, while limits on outdoor public gatherings rise to 50 people.

For weddings and funerals, 150 people will be able to come together to celebrate or commiserate.

The same limit applies to cinemas, galleries and museums, and large-scale events can resume if granted a permit.

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Large restaurants, cafes and pubs will be able to host up to 150 customers indoors, while smaller venues will be limited to 50 and must keep QR code records.

Premier Daniel Andrews also outlined additional moves back to normality, including up to 30 home visitors per day from December 13 – just in time for Christmas – and 25 per cent of staff returning to workplaces from November 30.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra described the office, hospitality and event announcements as major wins.

The latest changes to social restrictions were unveiled as Victoria extended its streak without a new COVID-19 infection or death to 23 days, ahead of NSW opening its border to the state.

After more than three months of police and military guarding checkpoints into NSW, the border closure came to an end at midnight on Monday.

The ACT will also be accessible to Victorians, while Tasmania and South Australia have previously flagged reopening to the state in the coming weeks.

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Meanwhile, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton is among a litany of health department leaders set to appear on Monday as a parliamentary inquiry resumes into the state’s contact tracing system, which struggled to cope during its devastating second wave.

AAP

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