Non-essential Victorian retailers will be able to reopen as the snap, five-day lockdown lifts, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced at a press conference. 

The lockdown, which came into effect at 11.59pm on February 12, will be lifted this evening at midnight and was introduced to stem the flow of cases from the Holiday Inn hotel quarantine site. 

The news comes as Victoria reports zero new cases for today, following more than 39,000 tests in the past 24 hours to midnight.

Retailers will revert to the previous density limits that were in place before entering the five-day lockdown, upon reopening. 

Speaking on the decision Premier Daniel Andrews said that while it was a difficult decision to impose the lockdown, it is important to follow the expert advice to avoid longer lockdowns. 

"No one takes lightly the decision to close businesses and disrupt people's lives. 

"But when you're dealing with something that's changing rapidly; when you're dealing with something that is new and different; when you have clear advice to take certain steps, then the only way that we can avoid a third wave is to follow the advice of the experts. 

"I am very pleased to be able to announce that just as we indicated on Friday, this will be a five-day, short, sharp, circuit-breaker, and the restrictions will come off at midnight tonight," he said. 

While most restrictions will revert back to their pre-lockdown settings, some will remain in place, such as mask wearing which will be required indoors and outdoors where social distancing is not possible. 

The four reasons to leave home and the five-kilometre distance from home rules will lift at 11.59pm tonight, meaning Victorians will be able to travel freely around the state. 

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