Victoria's Covid cases, deaths climb ahead of more freedoms

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·News Reporter
·2-min read
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Victoria has recorded 1,935 new cases of coronavirus as Melbourne residents enjoyed their first weekend of freedom from lockdown in months.

The health department said on Sunday morning a further 11 lives have been lost to Covid-19.

On Saturday, the state recorded 1,750 new cases and nine deaths.

Victoria is hurtling towards its next major vaccination target, with more freedoms less than a week away after the state passed its 90 per cent first dose milestone. 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media at the daily press conference in Melbourne, Australia.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the state is on track to reach its 80 per cent target by next weekend. Source: Getty Images

As Melburnians celebrate their first weekend out of lockdown, high vaccination rates continue to propel the state closer to its 80 per cent full vaccination target.

More than 99,000 Victorians were vaccinated on Friday, helping the state reach 90.2 per cent first dose among those aged 16 and over, while 73.1 per cent are fully vaccinated.

As of Friday night, there were 440,000 second doses needed to reach the 80 per cent double-dose target, which was initially forecast for November 5. 

Premier Daniel Andrews believes Victoria is on track to reach 80 per cent full vaccination by next weekend, with some analysts predicting it could occur on October 29.

He flagged he would hold a press conference "quite soon to clarify what we hope can happen at the end of next week", and could go further than previously announced.

People are seen lining up outside a restaurant in the Melbourne CBD.
People line outside a restaurant in Melbourne's CBD on Friday. Source: Getty Images

Under the government's original roadmap, outdoor masks will be scrapped, statewide travel will return, indoor entertainment venues, gyms and retail can reopen, and capacity limits increase when the state reaches 80 per cent.

Victoria was initially forecast to reach the milestone on November 5, but analysts predict the target could be hit on October 29 or 30.

The sped-up vaccination rate has prompted Victorian authorities to green light a 5500-strong, fully vaccinated crowd for Derby Day before 10,000 arrive at Flemington for the Melbourne Cup three days later.

Caps on major sports events could be dumped altogether once 90 per cent of Victorians over 12 are fully vaccinated, the Herald Sun reports, allowing up to 75,000 fans to potentially pack into the MCG for Boxing Day Test.

with AAP

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