Big spike in Covid cases as Victoria hits 70 per cent vaccine milestone

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Victoria has recorded 2,232 new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases, as Melbourne spends its last day in lockdown.

The state also recorded 12 Covid-related deaths and three cases in hotel quarantine who acquired their infection overseas.

At 11.59pm on Thursday, Melbourne will come out of lockdown, after Victoria surpassed 70 per cent vaccination coverage.

Melbourne’s lockdown will end at 11.59pm on Thursday night. Source: AAP
Melbourne’s lockdown will end at 11.59pm on Thursday night. Source: AAP

On Sunrise this morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 70.51 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

"Because of everything Victorians have done, tomorrow we can start getting back to the things we love,' Premier Daniel Andrews tweeted on Thursday morning.

"Thank you Victoria - I'm so proud."

When stay-at-home orders are lifted on Thursday night, Melburnians would have endured 77 days in the current lockdown.

Across the six lockdowns since the start of the pandemic, Melbourne has been under tight restrictions for 263 days.

With some pubs in the city to reopen at midnight, staff at hospitality venues will be allowed to go into work after the curfew kicks in at 9pm to get their venues ready, but patrons will need to wait until 11.59pm to leave home.

Once lockdown lifts, there will be no limit on why people can leave their homes and the curfew will be scrapped.

Home gatherings of up to 10 will be allowed, and hairdressers and hospitality businesses will reopen for the fully vaccinated.

Thursday's total of locally-acquired cases is the second highest Victoria or any Australian jurisdiction has recorded over the course of the pandemic.

On Wednesday, 1,841 new locally-acquired cases were recorded in Victoria.

More to come

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