Covid Victoria: Another big case spike as Melbourne nears freedom

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  • Victoria records 1903 new Covid-19 cases, seven deaths

  • Hotel quarantine scrapped

  • Premier unleashes after Frydenberg's 'rant'

Victoria's daily Covid cases continue to linger around the 2000 mark as Melburnians near the end of lockdown.

The Department of Health announced a further 1903 locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Monday. Seven more people have died from the virus.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday the state's vaccine rate had allowed for freedoms to be granted earlier than expected, and a reopening is now pencilled in for Friday.

He told ABC News Breakfast on Monday Victorians had done "quite an amazing job" in coming forward for the jab.

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Premier Daniel Andrews says impressive vaccination rates will allow Melbourne to open up earlier than expected despite high case rates. Source: Getty

Mr Andrews said he understood healthcare workers were "tired" after an unprecedented 20 months but said we have to "normalise this". 

"We have to open up. That's gonna be a stressful time, a difficult time for our health system, but we're there to support them every step of the way," he said.

He noted modelling from the Burnet Institute indicated hospitalisations were down from what was previously predicted, giving him more confidence to open up. 

Hotel quarantine scrapped

Victoria is set to scrap hotel quarantine for international travellers fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as the state prepares for an early exit from its long-running sixth lockdown.

However, Premier Daniel Andrews says Victoria will not follow NSW in abolishing quarantine altogether for double-dosed international arrivals from November 1.

Instead, he has foreshadowed travellers will be able to isolate at home for fewer than 14 days.

"It will be less," he told Seven's Sunrise.

"If you are double-dose vaccinated, you will be able to quarantine at home and hotel quarantine will be a thing of the past."

People exercise in South Wharf in Melbourne, Australia.
People cycle exercise in South Wharf in Melbourne on Sunday. Source: Getty Images

The premier has also confirmed Victoria will not lock down the entire state moving forward and instead opt for targeted restrictions in "very narrow circumstances".

"No more statewide lockdowns. What we are moving away from is instead of locking people down, we are locking people out," he said.

"If you are not double-dose vaccinated, you won't be able to go to the pub."

Premier unleashes after Frydenberg's 'rant'

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' feud with Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg showed no signs of abating on Monday as he unleashed a savage retort during a live television interview.

Appearing on ABC News Breakfast, host Michael Rowland pressed Mr Andrews on Mr Frydenberg's suggestion the upcoming end to lockdown for Melburnians was too cautious and pointed to the greater freedoms Sydney residents have enjoyed since last Monday.

Rowland branded Mr Frydenberg a "very prominent critic" amid Victoria's pandemic response, to which Mr Andrews appeared to agree.

"Well, look, I would just say to Josh, "This is not about you and your breathless political rants don't work against this virus," Mr Andrews hit back. 

with AAP

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