Vic lockdown exit to depend on vaccination

·2-min read

Victoria's exit from lockdown will depend on reaching high vaccination levels, but allocations of Pfizer first doses at state-run hubs have already been exhausted.

The state recorded 73 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, with 52 linked to known outbreaks.

Despite increasing pressure from business for a road map out of lockdown, Health Minister Martin Foley said Victoria's plan is the one agreed by national cabinet - to rely on vaccination rates.

"In regards to specific timetables and in regards to specific measures, the public health team are working on those," he told reporters on Monday.

"But in terms of time frames ... the strategy is the national cabinet agreed position, that when we get to 70 per cent, when we get to 80 per cent vaccination rates, our options multiply.

"If we do that, from the lowest possible infection levels, then our options grow."

However, Mr Foley also confirmed Victoria had exhausted its supply of first dose Pfizer vaccines at state-run hubs.

"Whilst there are currently no Pfizer bookings available right now for first doses in that system, don't give up," he said.

Once more Pfizer vaccines are made available by the Commonwealth government, more bookings will be added to the online system, he said.

Mr Foley encouraged people to get the vaccine that is available to them, or to try booking at GPs and community pharmacies which are now offering Pfizer vaccines for ages 16 to 39.

Asked whether those who've been double vaccinated will be given more freedoms in Victoria, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said this was "still being worked out" by national cabinet, adding a consistent national plan will avoid different rules in each state.

State Opposition Leader Michael O'Brien said Victorians deserved to know what freedoms they would get once the vaccination targets were reached.

"We need to know that when we hit that 70 per cent and 80 per cent mark, we get a lot more freedoms back," Mr O'Brien told reporters.

"Victorians are lining up for their vaccinations, the government needs to do the right thing as well."

One day after Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed lockdown will not end on September 2, Mr Foley said it was hoped the coronavirus outbreak in the state has "plateaued". He noted there was "every indication" the public health rules were starting to be effective.

On restrictions easing, Mr Sutton said "everything is up for review" including Melbourne's 9pm to 5am curfew and whether playgrounds will reopen.

The state's outbreak has grown to 805 active virus cases, and up to 49 of Victoria's new cases may have been infectious while in the community.

The source of infection in 21 cases is under investigation.

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