'Amazing achievement': Millions to leave lockdown early

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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has unveiled the plan for Melbourne's exit from lockdown, as the state inches towards its 70 per cent vaccination target ahead of schedule.

Melbourne has spent more than 70 days in its sixth lockdown but that is now set to end on Thursday night at 11:59pm.

Originally, it was expected the state would hit its he 70 per cent vaccine coverage milestone on October 26, but a higher rate of vaccination will usher in an earlier end to the harshest restrictions – something Mr Andrews labelled an "amazing achievement". 

Victoria is set to hit 70 per cent vaccination coverage this week. Source: AAP
Victoria is set to hit 70 per cent vaccination coverage this week. Source: AAP

New roadmap out of lockdown

From 11.59pm on Thursday night, the lockdown in Melbourne will be lifted, meaning there will be no restrictions on leaving the home and no curfew.

There will also be no travel limit within metropolitan Melbourne when the lockdown ends, however regional travel from Melbourne, unless authorised, is not permitted.

Public gatherings of up to 15 people, including dependents will be permitted and 10 people, also including dependents, will be able to visit a home, per day.

“It is, however, highly recommended that only vaccinated people above 12 should be visiting your home, that is not something we can necessarily enforce, it is only advice we can provide,” Mr Andrews said.

Hospitality venues, such as pubs and clubs and other entertainment venues will also be open from Thursday at 11.59pm, to 20 people who are fully vaccinated. 

Funerals and weddings are allowed to host 20 full-vaccinated people at indoor venues, 50 fully-vaccinated people at outdoor people.

What is changing from 11.59pm on Thursday in Melbourne:

  • No restrictions on leaving the home

  • No more curfew

  • No travel limit for metropolitan Melbourne

  • Melburnians still can’t travel to regional Victoria yet

  • Up to 10 people in the home, including dependents

  • Up to 15 people allowed for public gatherings outdoors 

  • 20 fully vaccinated people can do sit-down service at indoor hospitality venues

  • Up to 50 people allowed at outdoor venues for pubs and clubs

  • 20 vaccinated people inside, 50 outside for the funerals and weddings bullet point please

  • Hair/personal care salons can have 5 fully vaxxed customers

  • Community sport can start training again

  • Still work from home if you can

  • All school students return to on-site learning, at least part-time

As for regional Victoria, 10 people, including dependents, are allowed to visit a home per day and 20 people can gather outdoors.

Pubs, clubs and entertainment venues can open for 30 fully-vaccinated people.

Funerals and weddings are allowed to host 30 full-vaccinated people at indoor venues, 100 fully-vaccinated people at outdoor people.

Mr Andrews said more announcements will be made "very soon" and further restrictions will ease as the state hits the 80 per cent double-vaccinated milestone.

Premier proud of vaccine achievement 

The premier announced on Sunday said he was proud that 89 per cent of people aged over 16 have had one dose of a Covid vaccine, while 65 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.

"That is quite an amazing achievement," Mr Andrews said.

On Sunday, Victoria recorded 1,838 new locally-acquired Covid cases and seven deaths linked to the disease.

Saturday's caseload of 1,993 was down from the peak of 2,297 locally acquired Covid cases in the state on Thursday and a further 2,179 cases on Friday.

Mr Andrews said while daily case numbers are higher than he would like, those cases are not converting into as many hospitalisations as predicted.

New modelling for Victoria shows cases will likely surge with a peak of about 3,500 daily cases around Christmas.  

More to come.

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