Scott Morrison has performed a celebratory dance on live TV after Australia’s vaccination rate hit 70 per cent.
The Prime Minister told Today host Allison Langdon he did ‘a little dance’ on Wednesday when the key milestone was reached.
When Langdon asked for a demonstration, he initially declined – but at the end of the interview Mr Morrison showed off his smooth moves.
‘Ahhhh! That was the dance he did when he heard 70 per cent,’ Langdon exclaimed.
Both Victoria and Tasmania – alongside NSW and the ACT – have now reached the 70 per cent double dose rate.
As result, Melbourne’s lockdown will end on Thursday night, finally freeing the world’s most shut down city.
‘I’m really pleased for both Victoria and Tassie. Victoria at 70.51 per cent, fantastic effort, 70.6 per cent there in Tassie,’ the Prime Minister said.
‘Victoria has had the hardest road when it comes to Covid-19, they’ve had to go through so much.
‘It was great to see those wonderful scenes of people reuniting yesterday, and to see more in the future.’
Melbourne’s lockdown will end on Thursday night, finally freeing the world’s most shut down city. Pictured: Punters in Sydney after lockdown ended last week
Langdon awkwardly reminded the Prime Minister that at the start of the vaccine rollout in February, when Australia had very little Covid, he said there was no rush to get the nation vaccinated.
‘I tell you what, for someone who said it wasn’t a race, you’re celebrating the victory,’ she said.
Mr Morrison replied: ‘It’s always how you bring it home. That’s the challenge. We said at the end of last year we hoped to be in a point that we’d be hitting these vaccination rates in October and we’ve overcome those challenges’.
The rollout was delayed by changing health advice around the AstraZeneca vaccine and scarcity of the Pfizer jab after Mr Morrison initially only ordered 10 million doses last year.
Mr Morrison said he was delighted that families are being reunited as lockdown restrictions are wound back. Pictured: Melanie and her daughter are reunited in Melbourne after spending two months apart
But he secured an extra 5.5million doses in deals with Poland, Singapore and the UK in August and early September, allowing Australia’s vaccine rates to soar.
Also in the interview, Mr Morrison admitted it may be awkward when he ‘bumps into’ Emmanuel Macron at the Glasgow climate summit later this month.
The French President is furious with the Prime Minister for scrapping a deal to buy French-made submarines in favour of nuclear-powered boats from the US and UK.
Asked if the encounter would be awkward, he said: ‘Well, perhaps… It is what it is.’
When stay-at-home orders are wound back on Thursday night, Melburnians will have endured 77 full days in their current lockdown and 263 total days since the beginning of the pandemic – a record for any city across the globe.
Under the new rules, people will be able to leave their homes for any reason and travel anywhere within metropolitan Melbourne.
The curfew will be scrapped, home gatherings of up to 10 will be allowed, and hairdressers and hospitality businesses will reopen for the fully vaccinated.
However, in a last-minute change to reopening plans, all hospitality staff must be fully vaccinated to work.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) has required authorised workers to be vaccinated to do their jobs
This is despite online health directions stating authorised workers, including those in hospitality, must have had one vaccine dose by October 22 and a second by November 26.
Australian Hotels Association Victoria chief executive Paddy O’Sullivan said the government had ‘moved the goalposts’ and has asked for a grace period to allow staff time to get vaccinated.
But Victoria’s Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said ‘there is no wriggle room’ on the mandate.
With some pubs in the city to reopen at midnight, staff at hospitality venues will be allowed to go into work after the curfew kicks in at 9pm to get their venues ready, but patrons will need to wait until 11.59pm to leave home.
Victoria recorded 1,841 local Covid-19 cases and 12 deaths on Wednesday, taking the toll from the latest outbreak to 175.
MELBOURNE’S 263 DAYS OF LOCKDOWNS:
– Statewide, March 30 to May 12, 2020, 43 days
– Ten Melbourne postcodes, July 1 to July 8, 2020, seven days (not counted in the overall citywide figure)
– Melbourne, July 8 to October 27, 2020, 112 days
– Statewide, February 12 to February 17, 2021, five days
– Melbourne, May 27 to June 10, 2021, 14 days
– Statewide, July 15 to July 27, 2021, 12 days
– Melbourne, August 5 and October 21, 77 days (not including four hours on August 5 when lockdown started)