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Victoria records 1343 COVID-19 instances, 10 deaths

Another 1343 COVID-19 infections and 10 deaths have been recorded in Victoria, as the state throws open its border to NSW for the first time in six months.

The health department confirmed on Friday the state is now managing 18,952 active cases.

There are 634 Victorians in hospital, of whom 109 are in intensive care including 73 on a ventilator. The seven-day average is at 681.

Another 66,155 tests were processed on Thursday and 14,255 vaccines administered at state-run hubs.

About 82 per cent of people aged over 12 are fully vaccinated.

The latest figures come as NSW and Victoria have completely reopened their borders to each other for the first time in months.

Travel between the two states had already been unrestricted for the fully vaccinated from Monday.

But from 11.59pm on Thursday, all remaining NSW and ACT orange zones were downgraded to green under Victoria’s travel permit system.

The change allows travellers and workers to enter Victoria without any testing or quarantine requirements, including unvaccinated people, if they hold a permit to verify they are not COVID-positive or a close contact.

Fully vaccinated Victorians can also freely travel into NSW unless they have been to a place of high concern.

However, those aged over 16 who are not double-dosed still cannot travel to NSW for recreation or a holiday.

Meanwhile, Victoria is keen to start vaccinating currently ineligible primary school-age children against COVID-19 before classes wrap up this year.

Premier Daniel Andrews flagged he will raise the issue of child vaccines at Friday’s national cabinet meeting, after news the US ordered millions more Pfizer doses as it prepares to vaccinate five to 11-year-olds.

“Hopefully our federal government’s doing the same, and they can make announcements quite soon about vaccinating our kids,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“It’d be great to think that we could make a dent into that before the school year ended.”

The premier also plans to ask about booster vaccines and isolation requirements, as leaders meet for the first time since October 1.

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