Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed that the world's longest lockdown will end Thursday October 21.
Good news Victoria!
Victorians will emerge from lockdown at midnight on Thursday when the state is expected to have reached the 70 per cent double dose COVID-19 vaccination target of those aged 16+ fully vaccinated.
The state announced 1,838 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and seven deaths on Sunday, with 88.05 per cent of Victoria’s over-16 population having had one vaccine dose and 65.02 per cent both.
Across the state, people will be allowed to have 10 visitors at their home each day, including dependents. In metropolitan Melbourne, the curfew and the 15-kilometre travel radius will be lifted, but travel restrictions between Melbourne and regional Victoria will remain in place.
Mr Andrews said 89 per cent of the population over the age of 16 have had one dose and 65.5 per cent have had two doses of a COVID vaccine. He said they’re predicting that either tomorrow or Tuesday the state would pass the 90 per cent first dose barrier.
“We’ve always said along the way that if we saw vaccination uptake faster and in greater numbers than we had predicted, then we as a state, economy and community and public health system would have all of us more options,” he said.
“That’s why today I am very pleased to be able to announce that from 11:59pm this Thursday, when we will hit the 70 per cent fully vaccinated mark, the lockdown lifts, there will be no restrictions on leaving your home, there will be no curfew.”
The key takeaways
- Melbourne’s lockdown will end Thursday October 21
- 10 home visitors will be allowed across state and the curfew will end for Melbourne
- Premier Daniel Andrews said the government would be easing restrictions further than was outlined in the roadmap because “the Victorian community has done so well in getting vaccinated so fast”.
Changes in restrictions:
The changes that will take effect from midnight on Thursday for Melbourne:
- There will be no limit for Melbourne travel. However, unless you are authorised to enter regional Victoria, you cannot enter at this time
- There will be no curfew and no limit on reasons to leave the home
- 10 visitors, including dependents, will be able to visit your home per day
- Public gatherings will go to 15, including dependents. Vaccination is highly recommended, but not mandated
- The hospitality sector, food and drink will be seated service and 20 people who are fully vaccinated with density limits, and only if all attendees – including workers – are fully vaccinated.
- Most outdoor settings – outdoor cafes, cinemas and physical recreation facilities like pools – will open with up to 50 people per venue but are subject to density limits and only for those who are fully vaccinated
- The staggered return to school from grades 3 to 11 will commence on Friday, earlier than planned previously
- Large-scale construction sites will increase to 100 per cent capacity but only if all workers are fully vaccinated
- Child care will remain open to those already attending, as well as to the children of fully vaccinated adults
- People in metro Melbourne must continue to work from home if they can. Anyone on the authorised workers list is required to have had at least one dose of the vaccine to work on site
- Masks will remain but will change for outdoors when the state hits 80 per cent, as per the roadmap
- Weddings, funerals and religious ceremonies will be allowed for up to 20 fully vaccinated people or 10 unvaccinated people indoors and 50 people fully vaccinated or 20 people unvaccinated people outdoors, subject to density limits
In regional Victoria:
- Private gatherings, 10 people including dependents
- Public gatherings go to 20 people, including dependents
- Outdoor settings, 100 people per venue, fully vaccinated. Indoor settings, 30 people fully vaccinated in restaurants, cafes, cinemas and gyms
- Students will be back on Friday 22 October, staggered return to schools will be the same as Melbourne
Andrews also says they’re predicting the state will get to 80 per cent on or about Melbourne Cup day, so these settings could swiftly change in a matter of days or weeks.
“At 80 per cent, it is our intention to deliver the roadmap as has been outlined, and that is much bigger, much broader, much more significant changes because it’s safe at 80 per cent. There is a very significant difference in having 70 per cent of the community fully protected and having 80 per cent fully protected.”
“We’re getting close to anyone who wants a vaccine has had an opportunity to get one, so that’s the thing, and why we are moving from lockdowns to lockouts. I’m not going to lock down people down to protect those who won’t protect themselves.
“I encourage people for every good reason, do what 5 million other Victorians have done and get your first dose and a second dose thereafter.”
Although the number of new cases was high, Andrews said the critical statistic of hospitalisations had stayed low and allowed to the government to ease restrictions. He warned that any further relaxation of the rules right now would result in too much strain on the hospital system.
At 80% fully vaccinated, regional Victoria and Metro Melbourne come together under the same rules, which are currently as follows:
- Up to 150 fully vaccinated people can dine indoors, and up to 30 can gather in public outside.
- Indoor community sport open for minimum number required.
- Masks are only required inside.
- Pubs, restaurants and cafes can open for seated service only, up to 150 fully vaccinated people inside and 500 outdoors.
You can read the full statement here.