Anger over travel loophole as Victoria records another near 2000 Covid cases

·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read

Victoria has recorded 1,993 locally acquired cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, as the state's rate of daily caseloads remains worryingly high. 

Victoria also recorded another seven deaths related to Covid-19, the health department revealed this morning. 

There are currently 21,674 known active cases in the state as health authorites struggle to rein in the spread of the deadly disease after daily cases surpassed 2,000 earlier this week.  

On Friday the state recorded 2,179 cases, slightly down from Thursday when it saw 2,297 locally acquired Covid cases announced, which stands as a national record during the pandemic. 

The latest figures came from more than 79,000 tests carried out in the most recent 24-hour reporting period. 

More than 40,000 vaccine doses were administered in the same period as the state edges towards the 70 per cent double dose mark, which will trigger greater freedoms for residents. 

Melbourne locals enjoy the spring weather as daily cases stay stubbornly high after surpassing 2,000 this week. Source: Getty
Melbourne locals enjoy the spring weather as daily cases stay stubbornly high after surpassing 2,000 this week. Source: Getty

Anger over NSW/Victoria border loophole

The Victorian government is under fire over a Covid-19 restriction "anomaly" that will let fully vaccinated people from NSW travel across the state before Melbourne residents.

Doubled-dosed Victorians and non-residents from "red zones" such as Greater Sydney will be able to enter Victoria without quarantining for 14 days from 11.59pm on October 19.

They must still return a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours before arrival in Victoria, and then isolate, get tested again within 72 hours and remain in isolation until they receive a negative result.

Fully vaccinated travellers from "orange zones" will also no longer be required to get tested or isolate upon arrival.

The permit changes, which do not apply to unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people, open the door for Victorians to reunite with family and friends from NSW weeks before those in the state's regions.

Melburnians are currently subject to a 15 kilometre travel limit, which will expand to 25km when 70 per cent of people over 16 are fully vaccinated, and regional travel is banned until it hits 80 per cent coverage under the state's roadmap.

When pressed on the inconsistency on Friday, Health Minister Martin Foley told reporters to "take a chill pill".

"There will of course be transitional anomalies but as we get to 70 and 80 per cent, as per the roadmap, they will evaporate," he said.

Minister for Health, Martin Foley has admitted there are some anomalies in the rules that will persist for some time. Source: Getty
Minister for Health, Martin Foley has admitted there are some anomalies in the rules that will persist for some time. Source: Getty

Shadow Treasurer David Davis said it was "bizarre" and "strange" Sydneysiders would be able to go to any part of Victoria and follow local restrictions rules, while he couldn't visit his father on the Mornington Peninsula.

"It clearly doesn't make sense that you can have people flow in from NSW in that way and yet 5.5 million Melburnians are locked down," he said.

with AAP

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