More than two years after being told to work from home, Victorians have been sent back to the office.

Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas announced in a statement on Thursday the government was lifting its COVID-19 work-from-home recommendations.

CBD workers wearing masks alight from a train at Southern Cross Station in 2021. Credit: Jason South

“With spring now here and case numbers and hospitalisations declining significantly, more people may want to get back into the office – and back out to the cafes, shops and bars in busy professional precincts across the state,” she said.

The statement said the move was in line with Health Department advice that the pressure on the health system and transmission risk had reduced.

However, the government said employers and staff could still consider remote working arrangements that were appropriate for their workplace.

Premier Daniel Andrews flagged on Wednesday the advice was likely to change following a meeting of national cabinet that reduced the COVID isolation period from seven to five days.

The state’s pandemic declaration will remain in place until at least October 12.

Victoria stopped short of issuing orders requiring people to work from home in July as COVID-19 cases started to surge.

However, the health minister asked employers to consider working from home arrangements.

The latest figures from Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton showed 18 people died with COVID-19 on Wednesday. They were aged in their 70s, 80s and 90s and over.

There were 2645 new cases recorded on Wednesday and there were 332 people in hospital with the virus, seven of those in intensive care and five on a ventilator.

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