Victoria reports a drop in Covid cases as restrictions ease
Victoria has seen a significant drop in Covid cases, as the state readies to open the border around Melbourne.
Victoria Health announced 1461 cases of Covid-19 on Monday. Sadly, the state also reported seven deaths, bringing the death toll to 230 during the current Delta outbreak.
Victoria is set to begin easing lockdown restrictions later this week, with Melbourne and regional Victoria once again being under the same rules from 6pm Friday.
Around 74 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over are now fully vaccinated.
Sadly, a woman in her 20s is among the seven Covid related deaths announced on Monday.
The deaths also included a man in his 40s, a man in his 60s, two women and a man in their 80s and a man in his 90s.
Rules to relax ahead of schedule
Changes will see unrestricted travel around the state, caps on patrons being replaced by density limits with four square metres per person indoors and two square metres per person outdoors, with a total of up to 500 people.
Gyms, retail, entertainment and cinemas will also reopen. People will no longer have to wear masks outdoors.
Schools will return to face-to-face learning the following Monday.
90 per cent projected in November
Victoria could overtake NSW in its roadmap out of lockdown, with the state projected to hit its 80 per cent vaccination target ahead of schedule.
Victoria is projected to hit a 90 per cent vaccination rate for people aged 12 and over around November 24.
Currently, just over 72 per cent of Victoria's population aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated.
When 90 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated, almost all of the restrictions will be removed, including no caps and no density limits.
Restrictions will be dropped in NSW on December 1.
We thank everyone who got vaccinated and tested yesterday.
Our thoughts are with those in hospital, and the families of people who have lost their lives.
More data soon: https://t.co/OCCFTAtS1P#COVID19Vic #COVID19VicData pic.twitter.com/E48z03dhQ4
— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) October 24, 2021
All Victorian residents will need to be vaccinated to be able to exercise new freedoms. Unvaccinated people will still be able to visit essential stores, such as supermarkets and pharmacies.
"We will retain the vaccinated economy, all those requirements, all those settings, where you only get in if you are double vaccinated," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Sunday.
Pop-up clinics announced
Victoria's Covid-19 commander Jereon Weimar and Health Minister Martin Foley announced a vaccination van and pop-up vaccination clinics to boost vaccination rates in regional areas of the state and Melbourne.
"Close to 80 per cent of Aboriginal [people] aged over 12 have had one vaccine, that is clearly below where the wider community averages over 90 per cent," Mr Foley told reporters on Monday.
"When it comes to second doses, 58 per cent of the eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are fully vaccinated, compared to that 71 per cent figure I've referred to earlier."
Mr Weimar urged residents to continue to book in for Covid vaccinations, saying that two-thirds of the new cases have not received a jab.
"Please, for your protection, and the possession of those you love around you, get the vaccination job done over the coming days," Mr Werimar said.
Help for Victorian businesses
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Paul Guerra says the easing of restrictions will help set up many businesses for the summer.
"Importantly we know that from Friday every business in the state can trade viably and that regional and metropolitan Victoria will finally come back together," he told ABC radio on Monday morning.
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"For us, it means team Victoria is back.
"We think Friday will be a champagne day for business which will then set us up for a spectacular summer."
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