Melbourne punters have let loose on their first ‘Freedom Friday’ to celebrate the end of the world’s longeset lockdown by taking shots, hosting street parties, and doing burnouts on one of the city’s main roads.

After 262 days of hard lockdown, Victoria lifted its stay at-home orders at 11.59pm Thursday. The Covid-weary state had finally reached its 70% vaccination target. This enabled it to unlock new privileges for those double-jabbed.

Thirsty revellers were seen dancing on top of cars, pushing each other in supermarket trolleys on Chapel Street, Prahran, and enjoying pints on footpaths at St Kilda less than 24 hours after the state had been freed.  

Police had to intervene when partygoers started throwing glass bottles at passing cars. But that didn’t stop them from chanting freedom, liberty!

Despite the chaos, which will likely leave some punters with sore heads today, the surge in vaccination rates could mean that significant changes are made on Victoria’s roadmap. This will be discussed by Andrews’ government this weekend.

Revellers on Chapel Street weren't shy in making their feelings known as joy over the world's longest lockdown ending spilled onto Melbourne's streets

Chapel Street Revellers were not shy in expressing their joy at Melbourne’s longest lockdown ending.

A group of youngsters - having spent 262 long days in lockdown - enjoy their first full night of freedom by riding through the streets in a supermarket trolley

After 262 long days locked up, a group of young people ride through the streets in a supermarket cart. It’s their first night free.

Frivolous Victorians couldn't be stopped on Friday night as they dragged their friends onto moving cars and partied long into the morning on Melbourne's Chapel Street

Frivolous Victorians were unstoppable Friday night, as they dragged their friends on moving cars and partied well into the morning on Melbourne’s Chapel Street

The lads are here! There were mullets aplenty among the crew of misfits who were spotted enjoying a night out in Melbourne's CBD

The lads have arrived! There were mullets galore among the misfits who were spotted having a night out in Melbourne’s CBD.

The star attraction of the night were a group of souped up turbocharged cars revving their engines in Melbourne's CBD, prompting a number of cheers from youths lined up outside of various pubs and eateries

The star attraction was a group turbocharged cars in Melbourne’s CBD revving up, prompting cheers from youths lining up outside of various bars and eateries.

Anyone trying to drive down the city streets was greeted by a gang of youths who were ready to party well into the night

Everyone who tried to drive down the streets of the city was met by a gang full of youths who were eager to party until the early hours.

Taxis were quick to help those wanting to move on and find fun elsewhere clamber on to their next destination

Taxis were quick and helpful to those who wanted to move on and have fun at other places.

Mullet-sporting, goon-drinking revellers lined the footpath on Chapel Street

Chapel Street’s footpath was populated by goon-drinking, mullet-wearing revellers

Oops: Victoria Police watched on as revellers paid them no mind - but they were forced to intervene when glass bottles were thrown

Oops! Victoria Police observed as revellers ignored them, but were forced to intervene when glass bottles had been thrown.

Large lines formed in quieter Melbourne suburbs to eat at their favourite restaurants. Those who were lucky enough to get a table reservation enjoyed their first meal out in months. 

As residents rejoiced at being free to leave their homes, outdoor diners filled the CBD’s buzzing Hardware Lane. 

Friends finally got together at pubs for pints and glasses of wine. Collingwood was full of rowdy revellers enjoying their beers.

Melburnians went to bars and restaurants to enjoy their meals, but others wanted to go to local nail salons for their beauty treatments. 

Even Premier Dan Andrews went out to Freedom Day celebrations, but his festivities were more subdued.

Instead of “getting on the beers” – a phrase made popular by Mr Andrews at a March 2020 press conference – he got on white wines with Catherine as they sat down with a mother’s group at Drinkwell, a vibrant suburb of Fitzroy. 

Andrews tweeted, “Catching up on Zoom with the mother’s groups just isn’t like the other,” 

There was nary a mask in sight out the front of pubs as revellers finally caught up with their friends after months apart

As revellers finally reunited with their friends after months of separation, there was not a single mask visible at the front of pubs.

Shout out the the firies! Slow moving vehicles were instant targets for those wanting to hitch a ride

Shout out to the firies For those looking to get a ride, slow moving vehicles were the best targets.

No business was safe - not even the local bakery - as youngsters climbed on top to watch the joy from a different vantage point

No business was secure – not even the local baker – as children climbed onto the top to enjoy the joy from another vantage point

Plenty of cars skidded down Chapel Street to showcase how thrilled they were at finally getting a taste of freedom

Many cars drove down Chapel Street to show how happy they were to finally have a taste freedom.

Hands up if you're ready for a good time! Dressed up Melburnians took to the streets in droves, stopping traffic as they went

If you’re up for a good time, raise your hand! Melburnians dressed up took to the streets in large numbers, stopping traffic wherever they went

A White Claw seltzer in hand, one excited pubgoer is held up by a police officer in the city

One excited pubgoer holds a White Claw seltzer in his hand and is stopped by a city police officer.

Bike lines and regular lanes were taken up by walkers heading on to their next watering hole

Walkers were using bike lines and regular lanes to get to their next watering hole.

Victoria officially lifted its stay-at-home orders at 11.59pm on Thursday after 262 long days in a hard lockdown

After 262 days of hard lockdown, Victoria officially lifted stay-at-home orders on Thursday at 11.59pm

Turbocharged cars were the main attraction in Prahran as excited punters spilled onto the roads

The main attraction in Prahran was the turbocharged car. Excited punters flooded onto the roads

A group of youths were spotted climbing onto the tray of a ute as it made its way through the busy crowds

As the ute made its way through busy crowds, a group of youths was seen climbing onto the tray of the ute.

In contrast: The premier and his wife were seen laughing and enjoying the company of the mother's group and their children as they sat at a table filled with food and drinks

Contrast: The premier and his spouse were seen laughing and enjoying their time with the mother’s group as they sat at a full table of food and drinks.

Instead of ‘getting on the beers’, Mr Andrews got on the white wines with his wife as they caught up with a mother’s group

Instead of ‘getting on beers’, Andrews enjoyed white wines with his spouse as they sat down to a mother’s group.

“Today Teddy, Naomi and Monty finally met up in person. We thought it was time for a celebration.

As they sat down at a table with drinks, the premier and his wife were seen laughing and enjoying each other’s company.

During the visit, Mr Andrews even had one of the children sit on his lap as everyone enjoyed their first outing. 

Andrews posted a series on Twitter to celebrate Friday’s post-lockdown celebrations. He expressed his gratitude for the easing restrictions and how he was ‘bloody proud” of Victorians.

He wrote, “As my children say – there is a big vibe today,”

“You can feel the optimism. You can feel the pride at what has been accomplished.

He added, “And after all it’s taken for us to get there, we absolutely deserve that feeling.”

Andrews stated that while the state has been through difficult times together, the sacrifices have allowed them all to come out of the ruts.

He continued, “I’m trying not sound like some sort of soppy dad here, but I’m proud, bloody proud this state,” he said.

Do you want a beer, mate? A punter stops to speak to a Victoria Police officer

Do you want a beer, mate. A punter stops to talk to a Victoria Police officer

If you've got a trolley, you've got a way home: A trio of friends pile into a supermarket trolley

If you’ve got a trolley, you’ve got a way home: Trio pile into a supermarket trolley

Plenty of cheers erupted from the crowd when a car or motorbike whizzed past

When a car or motorbike zoomed past, there were many cheers from the crowd

Plenty of partygoers were happy to hit the town on Freedom Friday

Many partygoers were happy that Freedom Friday was a day to celebrate.

Drinks for the gang! Pubs and restaurants were brought back to life on Friday evening as punters returned for drinks and a bite to eat

Drinks for the gang Friday evening saw punters returning to pubs and restaurants to get drinks and eat in the bars and restaurants.

Time for a shot? Alcoholic beverages were poured thick and fast for the thirsty Victorians who joined the festivities on Friday

Is it time to take a shot? The thirsty Victorians who were there to enjoy the festivities on Friday had their alcohol poured thickly.

Lines were long as fully-vaccinated Victorians took full advantage of their new freedoms

As fully-vaccinated Victorians took advantage of their new freedoms, the lines were long

Delight was plain to see on the faces of those who have endured almost a full year in lockdown

The faces of those who had spent almost a year in lockdown were filled with delight

One group of friends donned party hats for the occasion as Melbourne was brought to life once more

Melbourne was brought back to life by a group of friends who donned party hats.

Drinks from the footpath? For those who couldn't find a seat, there were alternative arrangements planned for

Drinks on the footpath Alternative arrangements were available for those who couldn’t find seats.

“We’ve had such a difficult time together, this epidemic has been exhausting to every sense of the term.

“And the fact that today we are here, and opening up, it is only because of all the sacrifices made.

But, the premier reminded his constituents the pandemic isn’t over and that things will not simply return to normal.

He stated that “People won’t just recover from this,” and that the pandemic wasn’t over. Feeling anxious about all of this is normal.

“So, if you’re going out today, please remember that it will take time and not everyone will be ready to open their front door.

We all know that the process of reopening will not be without its flaws. It will require patience and understanding.

Andrews reminded residents who are planning to go out to a venue for a night of hospitality to be mindful of how staff adapt to the new rules. 

Catching a lift? One man held onto the back of a ute as it paraded down Chapel Street

What is the best way to catch a lift? One man held onto the back a ute while it paraded down Chapel Street

Strike a pose! There was plenty of interaction between friends after a lengthy lockdown

Strike a pose! After a long lockdown, there was plenty of interaction among friends.

Shots (and bellies) were on show come Friday evening in Melbourne

Friday night in Melbourne was filled with shots (and bellies).

Friends finally reunited at pubs for pints of beer and glasses of wine, with groups of rowdy revellers seen in St Kilda and Collingwood enjoying their freedom beverages

Friends finally got together at pubs for pints and glasses of wine. Several groups of rowdy revellers were seen in St Kilda, Collingwood enjoying their freedom beverages.

Two women happily pose for a photo as they they celebrate Freedom Day with a glass of wine

Two women smile happily as they take a photo during Freedom Day celebrations with a glass or wine

While Melburnians flocked to bars and restaurants, others were keen to finally receive their beauty treatments at nail salons

Melburnians were affluent in bars and restaurants, but others were eager to get their beauty treatments at nail salons.

Women were captured at nail salons as they looked to receive some glam treatment to prepare for future celebratory outings

Photographs of women at nail salons were taken as they sought to get glam treatment in preparation for future celebrations

Two women are pictured in the park enjoying a picnic with a bottle of wine

Two women enjoy a picnic in the park with a bottle wine and are pictured together 

Saturday’s meeting will bring together state ministers and health professionals to discuss the roadmap for when the 80% vaccine target will be achieved.

They will increase the number of guests that can stay at homes, currently at 10 people.

A second possibility is to increase the limit of 150 people indoors in bars, restaurants and wedding venues once the state reaches 80 percent double dose rates.

According to the Herald Sun, the cabinet will be focusing on indoor events during the meeting.

Over 5,000 Melbourne punters can watch the Victoria’s Derby Day at Flemington Racecourse next Saturday. This will help to kickstart the events sector once again.  

There were certainly some excited punters on the town as Melbourne enjoyed its first full day out of lockdown since August

Melbourne enjoyed its first day without lockdown since August and there were many excited punters.

Holding a speaker and without a care in the world a group of youths make their way towards the party on Chapel Street

A group of youths, holding a speaker and with no care in the world, make their way to Chapel Street party.

No dance move was off limits on Friday night as Melbourne took to the streets (and the pubs)

Friday night was a Friday night in Melbourne, where everyone took to the streets and the pubs.

Before his post-lockdown celebrations on Friday, Mr Andrews took to Twitter to post a series of gushing tweets to mark the easing of restrictions

Andrews posted a series of tweets to celebrate the end of restrictions before his Friday post-lockdown celebrations

Premier Daniel Andrews described how he is 'bloody proud' of Victorians after reaching this significant day

Premier Daniel Andrews said he is ‘bloody proud” of Victorians for reaching this important day

Victoria will also abolish all quarantine requirements for international return travellers starting November 1.

On Friday, Mr Andrews followed Dominic Perrottet from NSW by allowing fully vaccinated Australians into the state without having to spend 14 days in quarantine or hotel rooms.

Travellers must test negative for Covid-19 within 72hrs of departure and be swabbed again within one day of arrival into Victoria.

Since March 2020, when international borders were closed to all but permanent residents, hotel quarantine has been in effect for those returning to Australia.  

The announcement came after Victoria recorded 16 Covid-related death on Friday. This was the highest single day toll in any state during Australia’s Delta epidemic.

Brett Sutton, chief health officer for Victoria, warned against overreaching as the state opens up to the outside world. He said that the loosening of restrictions could lead to an unprecedented rise in Covid transmission.  

He said, “As we open for business, there will be more Covid than ever before.”

But, the premier reminded people that the pandemic isn't over, and things won't simply return to normal in a short time (Pictured: Premier Andrews greets Bianca Shah in a Covid-safe way)

The premier reminded everyone that the pandemic wasn’t over and that things won’t just return to normal in a matter of time.

The premier ended his comments by telling Victorians to enjoy the new freedoms and to be proud of what they've achieved (Pictured: Dan Andrews with his wife Catherine)

The premier concluded his remarks by telling Victorians to take advantage of the new freedoms and be proud of what they have achieved. (Pictured with Catherine and Dan Andrews)

Friends happily reunite over drinks at Paradise Alley in Collingwood

Friends reunite happily over drinks at Paradise Alley, Collingwood

A group of friends hold their cocktails up as they are snapped at a bar

A group of friends holds their cocktails high as they wait to be photographed at a bar. 

“Many of these people will have mild illnesses because they’re fully vaccinated. Many of those people will be fully vaccinated.

“Checking in will require you to wear a mask and, on days like today opening every window to let in fresh air.  

There is relief that the worst of coronavirus crises is over. However, it is still too early for people to stop wearing face masks indoors or outdoors, except when they are eating or drinking. 

The good news? The controversial 9pm curfew in the city has been repealed along with the 15km travel restriction.

Residents can now move freely around the Metropolitan Area, but regional travel is still not possible. 

Hospitality venues like pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants are allowed to reopen for seated and outdoor service only, with a capacity limit of 20 vaccinated patrons indoors and 50 outdoors.

Before nightclubs, dancing in venues, and stand-up drinking are allowed, the vaccination rate must be higher than 80 percent.

General retail will also have to wait until the next vaccination milestone, predicted to be achieved in early November, before trading can return to normal.

Non-essential stores cannot operate after midnight. They can only be opened outdoors or with a partner. Click and Collect  

A maximum of 20 people can be accommodated indoors and 50 outdoors in entertainment venues such as cinemas or physical recreation.

Personal services such as hAfter the fashion-conscious city went for 78 days without a trim, airdressers and beauty salons are allowed to return to work with a maximum of five clients.

A bartender serves two women glasses of beer at Molly Rose in Collingwood

Molly Rose, Collingwood, offers two glasses of beer to two women by the bartender.

Friends gather across venues in Melbourne as stay-at-home orders are lifted

As stay-at-home orders are lifted, friends gather in Melbourne to support each other.

A group of friends enjoy some beverages after work on 'Freedom Friday'

A group of friends relaxes with a drink after work on Freedom Friday

A group of women are all smiles with drinks in hand at a bar in Melbourne

A group of women smile and enjoy a drink at a Melbourne bar.

Women take to the streets all glammed up for their first night out after months of lockdown restrictions

After months of lockdown restrictions, women go out looking glamorous for their first night on the streets.


Lockdown 1: March 31, 2020 – May 12, 2020 – 43 Days

Lockdown 2: July 9, 2020 through October 27, 2020 – 111 Days

Lockdown 3 – February 13, 2021 to February 17, 2021 – 5 days

Lockdown 4: May 28, 2021 through June 10, 2021. – 14 days

Lockdown 5: July 16, 2021- July 27, 2021 – 12 Days

Lockdown 6: August 5, 2021 – October 21 – 78 Days as of October 14 

But anyone entering any non-essential venue in the state must prove their vaccination status upon entry when they check in via QR code with the Service Victoria app.

Visitors can also show their Medicare Express app the green tick. Visitors who are unable to prove that they have had the jab may be denied entry. 

Visitors to homes do not need to be vaccinated. However, it is highly recommended by state officials and health officials. Outdoor gatherings are subject to the same rules. 

The 50 fully-vaccinated outdoor guests and 20 indoor guests will be able attend religious services, weddings, funerals, etc.

School children from Year 3 to Year 11 will start returning to the classroom part-time.

Children of fully vaccinated parents will be able to reopen early childcare. 

The long-awaited opening was originally scheduled to take place on October 26th, but was quickly accelerated by high vaccination rates.

Outdoor tables at a bar in Melbourne filled with Melbourne punters

Melbourne punters fill outdoor tables at a bar in Melbourne

Jubilant scenes as residents descend on bars to reunite with friends

Scenes of joy as residents gather at bars to reunite and celebrate with their friends 

A group of mates catch-up over a glass of beer at a bar on their first day out after lockdown restrictions were eased

A group of friends meets up for a glass of beer at the bar after their first day of freedom from lockdown restrictions. 

Victoria’s path to freedom

'Because of everything Victorians have done, tomorrow we can start getting back to the things we love. Thank you Victoria - I'm so proud,' Daniel Andrews (pictured) tweeted on Thursday

“Because of everything Victorians did, tomorrow we will be able to get back to the things that we love. Daniel Andrews (pictured), tweeted on Thursday: “Thank you Victoria – It’s so proud,” 


  • No restrictions on travel within the metropolitan region, except for a 9pm-5am curfew.
  • Travel between Melbourne and Victoria is still not possible – unless you have a valid reason. 

 Gatherings at home and in public spaces

  • A home will allow up to ten visitors per day (including dependents). 
  • Outdoor gatherings can hold up to 15 persons 

Locations that offer hospitality, retail stores, and personal services

  • Hospitality venues such as pubs, clubs, and other establishments will reopen with seating and outdoor service. There is a limit of 20 fully vaccinated patrons indoors, and 50 outside.
  • General retail will reopen to outdoor service only. Click and collect services will remain available
  • For 20 people who have been fully vaccinated indoors and 50 outside, entertainment venues such as cinemas and physical recreation will be reopened.
  • A maximum of five people can visit a beauty salon or hairdresser. 

Weddings, funerals and places of worship 

  • With 50 fully-vaccinated individuals outdoors and 20 indoors, religious and other events, such as weddings and funerals, will be permitted

Schools and childcare 

  • Students in Years 3-11 will begin the staggered return of school. 
  • Children with fully vaccinated parents can reopen their early childcare programs


  • Masks will be required both indoors as well as outdoors.