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‘Stay outdoors’, Vic trick-or-treaters told

Victorian trick-or-treaters should stay outside and keep their distance this Halloween to ensure the activity does not lead to a COVID-19 nightmare.

That is Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton’s message for children planning to don creepy costumes and go house to house collecting candy for Halloween on Sunday.

Professor Sutton is urging parents and children to stick to the public health rules, especially since those aged under 12 are not yet eligible for a coronavirus vaccine.

It is recommended those planning to trick-or-treat stay outside and keep their distance, homes only offer individually wrapped lollies and parents encourage kids to clean their hands with sanitiser.

Any Halloween parties in homes also cannot have more than 10 visitors, in line with the state’s current gathering restrictions.

Meanwhile, Victorians will soon be able to buy rapid antigen tests from major supermarkets, as virus cases in the state dipped for a second straight day.

The state reported 1355 locally acquired COVID-19 infections and 11 deaths on Saturday, taking the toll from its latest outbreak to 293.

From Monday, Victorians will be able to purchase rapid antigen tests from the likes of Coles and Woolworths to test themselves for the virus from home.

COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar urged people to keep the tests in their drawers and use them for extra reassurance when symptomatic.

Saturday was the state’s final daily COVID-19 briefing, with key information and statistics to instead be issued through a media release at 11am each day.

As restrictions eased further ahead of the state hitting its 80 per cent full vaccination target on Saturday, Victorians enjoyed their first post-lockdown major events.

A 5500-strong crowd was allowed through the gates of Flemington Racecourse for Saturday’s Derby Day, before almost 4000 fans turned out for a concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in the evening.

Several hundred protesters also gathered outside Victoria’s parliament on Saturday afternoon after the state government introduced new pandemic legislation.

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