Victoria Covid-19: Melbourne’s longest lockdown could end early if vaccination rates keep surging

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Melbourne’s world-longest lockdown could end early if vaccination rates continue to surge – with Sydney on track to trigger 80% jab rate and more freedoms by MONDAY

Melbourne’s world-longest Covid lockdown is on track to end four days earlier than planned as Victoria surges towards the 70 per cent double vaccination milestone – as Sydney prepares to unlock more freedoms as early as Monday.

The Victorian government projects the state to hit the 70 per cent double dose mark on October 26 – triggering new freedoms for Melburnians including the reopening of pubs, restaurants, and cafes.

Covid Live analyst Anthony Macali though predicts Victoria could hit that mark on October 22. 

‘There’s still room where if the rate continues to increase we might be able to pull in a few more days,’ he said.

NSW meanwhile is likely to hit the 80 per cent full vaccination target just days after the state’s ‘Freedom Day’ – triggering even more freedoms for Sydneysiders emerging from lockdown.

Melbourne’s world-longest Covid lockdown is on track to end four days earlier than planned as Victoria surges towards the 70 per cent double vaccination milestone

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has flagged more new freedoms for the state next week, saying dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘one, two and three’ on his to do list.

‘That is the sole focus of the government,’ Mr Perrottet said.

‘We need to get through this as well as we can. We’re going to lead the nation out of this pandemic here in NSW, and there’s so many things to do in that space.’

The state is rapidly approaching its next vaccination milestone, just three days into the reopening triggered on Monday after 70 per cent of eligible residents got both jabs.

Some 75.23 per cent of residents over 16 are fully vaccinated and 90.77 per cent have had at least one dose.

NSW could reach the 80 per cent fully vaccinated milestone by Sunday, setting the stage for the next phase in the state’s reopening next week.

‘The success of our vaccination rate has been absolutely superb … When we hit 80 per cent, we’ve always said it will be the Monday following,’ Mr Perrottet said.

The government’s COVID-19 and economic recovery committee – formerly known as crisis cabinet – will discuss tweaking the reopening roadmap on Thursday.

Mr Perrottet could announce changes to regional travel restrictions and other restrictions on Friday.

As things currently stand, the next phase of the roadmap paves the way for outdoor gatherings of up to 50 vaccinated people, 20 guests in a home, dancing at hospitality venues and drinking standing up at the pub.

Travel across NSW would be allowed, as would carpooling, weddings of any size if the venue is large enough, and community sport.

NSW recorded 360 new infections and five deaths on Tuesday. Some 766 virus patients are in hospital, of whom 155 are in intensive care.

Late on Tuesday, NSW Health issued an alert for anyone who was on Qantas flight QF509 from Brisbane to Sydney on Saturday to get tested and isolate after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus.


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