Victoria is set to hit its first vaccination target and as a result, modest easing of restrictions will be able to occur this week. The state has reported 779 new COVID-19 infections and two deaths today.
On Tuesday, Victoria will pass its first threshold on the Roadmap with 80 per cent of Victorians having received their first vaccine dose.
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that at 11.59 pm on Tuesday 28 September there will be a modest easing to restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
In regional Victoria,
1- Outdoor settings for restaurants and cafes will have their outdoor venue cap increase from 20 to 30 people.
2- Masks may be removed if the service requires them in hair and beauty salons, so facials and beard trimmings can recommence.
Residents of metropolitan Melbourne and regional areas in lockdown will be able to undertake ‘contactless’ recreation at outdoor facilities, such as boating, tennis or golf.
The gathering size outdoors can increase to up to five adults, from two households, if all adults are fully vaccinated.
The 10km radius will also expand to 15km – so exercise and shopping can take place up to 15km from your home.
Personal training will be able to take place with five fully vaccinated people outside plus a fully vaccinated trainer.
The additional restrictions on playgrounds will be lifted – normal public gathering limits apply, and masks can be removed to eat and drink at the playground.
Premier Daniel Andrews said, “We’re about to hit our first stop on the Roadmap, which is a fantastic achievement – but we need to keep the momentum going. Today is the day to book that vaccine appointment.”
Separately, Premier Andrews announced that the City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire can exit lockdown at 11:59 pm tonight, 26 September – with public health teams confident that caseloads, which are largely contained to existing contacts, can be well managed by the local public health unit.
Mitchell Shire – Will remain in lockdown due to its close proximity to areas of highest concern in metropolitan Melbourne.
The next milestones in the Roadmap will be when school begins to return to onsite learning on 5 October and when Victoria hits that 70 per cent double dose vaccination target – in late October.
Vaccinated Economy Trials
Up to 20 vaccinated economy trials will test systems and support in the fortnight before Victoria is aiming to reach the key 70 per cent full vaccination mark on 26 October, triggering greater freedoms for vaccinated people.
Scheduled to start from 11 October, it is anticipated the trials will cover hospitality, hairdressing, beauty services and tourism businesses, and events such as race meetings, community celebrations and concerts – allowing higher patron numbers with all attendees confirmed as being fully vaccinated.
As regional areas with high vaccination rates and low or no COVID-19 cases the Bass Coast, Greater Bendigo, Pyrenees, Warrnambool, Buloke and East Gippsland municipalities will be the first invited to participate in the trials.
The Government will work with local councils and industry bodies to help identify suitable businesses and events for the important fact-finding exercises.
The trials will confirm the best processes for establishing vaccination status, with work underway on how Commonwealth vaccination data can be best integrated with the Service Victoria app.
Pending the outcomes of the first phase, a second phase of trials using 80 per cent double dose settings will be held, prior to Victoria achieving that threshold.
The progress of these trials will be subject to health advice and ensuring the safety of regional communities from any potential COVID-19 infections. These trials will be used to hold larger events in metropolitan Melbourne to test the systems and technologies with larger crowd sizes.
Training for staff, supports for business owners and public communication of vaccine requirements will also be part of the trials. Support officers will be deployed on the ground to ensure trials run smoothly and participating businesses receive the assistance they need.
As Victoria reaches the key vaccination thresholds of 70 per cent and 80 per cent double dose in Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan, greater numbers of fully vaccinated people will be able to participate in many settings including outdoor gatherings, funerals, weddings, religious gatherings and entertainment and hospitality venues.
In regional cafes and restaurants, the patron cap increases to 30 people for indoor spaces and 100 people for outdoor spaces once they reach the 70 per cent double dose vaccination – on the basis that all patrons and staff are fully vaccinated.
Without confirmation of vaccination status, there is no change to existing settings.
Premier Andrews urged, “Getting vaccinated has never been more important – it reduces the risks to you and your family of serious illness from COVID-19 and it allows greater freedoms for all Victorians as we re-open together.”
“These trials are an important step as we move towards a vaccinated economy, supporting businesses to open safely and recover strongly and individuals to play their very important part.”
If you haven’t booked your appointment or are waiting for a particular vaccine – do not wait. The best vaccine is the vaccine you can get today. Over the next week, there are 3,495 Pfizer appointments available and 6,984 Astra Zeneca appointments available at state hubs.
Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their trusted GP or community pharmacist by visiting www.health.gov.au – and it’s important to remember Victorian pharmacists are now also offering the Moderna vaccine, which is a safe and effective option for any Victorian under the age of 60.
For more info on the Roadmap, or to book a vaccination, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.