"Relief and gratitude" were the feelings flooding through Bendigo Art Gallery director Jessica Bridgfoot when she heard Victorians would once again be able to travel freely.
The state government announced eased coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday, which would allow crowds at sporting games and increased capacity for hospitality venues.
Ms Bridgfoot said she was very pleased to hear Melburnians could visit Bendigo once again.
"We have an international exhibition on and we only have three weeks left and we can't extend those dates," she said.
"So we are relieved that our Melbourne visitors can come to Bendigo again and come and experience the exhibition and also experience more broadly what Bendigo has to offer.
"Things were humming along really well before the last lockdown, the streets were busy, people were around, shops were open and cafes were bustling and it was very sad to see the last lockdown.
"We are now pretty happy and optimistic for the next few weeks ahead."
Ms Bridgfoot said the gallery anticipated a fairly busy weekend.
"Before the lockdown, the exhibition was doing really well and we had a lot of advanced bookings," she said.
"We are expecting people now to be rebooking and for those who were planning on coming during the lockdown have started to rebook tickets.
"Another thing that has been interesting during COVID, is that the weekdays have been almost as busy as the weekends."
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Jennifer Alden welcomed the eased restrictions.
"The City has welcomed the news that the 25-kilometre travel restriction for Melburnians has been lifted, as it does mean that we can welcome visitors from Melbourne this coming weekend and also over the school holidays," she said.
"We know the Melbourne market is a significant source of tourism to Bendigo and the region, which means more people staying overnight, shopping, visiting attractions, and eating in our cafes, restaurants and pubs.
"It also means families can come back together and we can meet up with friends."
Cr Alden urged any residents with symptoms to get tested and take responsibility.
"We are not bouncing back to where we were prior to the latest lockdown, so in order to remain open for business to everyone and to see the people we love, we need to continue to take responsibility to be tested as needed and vaccinated when it is our turn," she said.
"It also means ensuring that we do the right thing by checking in via QR code or pen and paper, wearing masks where appropriate and social distancing."
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