Melbourne will go from being the most locked down city in the world to almost completely free of restrictions next month, but Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has warned that a vastly enlarged ‘vaccinated economy’ will remain for 2022.
Victoria is expected to achieve an 80% vaccination rate for those aged 16 and over from Friday – one week ahead of schedule – and hit the 90% mark (for those aged 12 and over) d ‘by November 24.
The state recorded 1,935 new cases and 11 additional deaths on Sunday. The state is now at 73% full vaccination for people aged 16 and over (up about a percentage point per day), but the number of people hospitalized (787, against 770 on Saturday), in care intensive (146, against 144 on Saturday) and on fan (93, 90 Saturday) also continues to climb.
There are now 24,993 active cases in the state.
Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, travel will be permitted statewide and all retail businesses will reopen, subject to density requirements. Masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors and all children will resume classroom learning full time.
On Sunday, Andrews said he hoped the changes would allow those in Melbourne, who have not been able to leave the city since July, to take advantage of a long weekend to coincide with the Melbourne Cup public holiday on November 2.
Andrews also described the state’s plans when it reached a 90% vaccination rate. No activity would be limited and masks would only be required in the most risky environments. He hoped the first day of the Boxing Day 2021 test would set a record for an Australian crowd since the pandemic began, and said Christmas would be unrestricted for those who have been vaccinated.
“There is a fundamental agreement that we have made with the Victorian community. We have asked you to get vaccinated. You did it in record time and in record numbers, ”Andrews said.
“This means that we have to open up the place and we have to have a series of rules, we have to have parameters, which are as light as possible, as simple as possible, as easy to understand, which is as close as possible to life. normal. .
“This is what we are committed to and this is what we will deliver. “
Unlike New South Wales, where those who are not vaccinated will have broadly the same freedoms as those who are vaccinated from December, Andrews expects to maintain restrictions limiting the activities of the unvaccinated throughout the year. ‘next year.
Those restrictions were extended on Sunday, when Andrews made it clear that retail and non-essential events would be mandatory for vaccines, effectively barring those who are not vaccinated from participating or working in those settings. Mandates already existed in many contexts, including in some key areas of retail, construction, elderly care and health.
Andrews confirmed that this meant those who weren’t vaccinated would be banned from attending anything from a bookstore to a pub to a football game until at least 2023.
He said the change was largely due to the fact that the unvaccinated continued to be the biggest burden on the health system. Of the 146 people in intensive care with Covid-19, Andrews said 93% were unvaccinated.
Andrews said he expects to make an announcement soon with his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrottet about further easing interstate travel restrictions.
In New South Wales, 296 new cases and four deaths were recorded on Sunday.
The rate of people over the age of 16 who received at least one dose reached 93% and the rate of complete vaccination for the same age group is 84.4%.
The number of people hospitalized rose from 469 on Saturday to 480, but the number in intensive care rose from 123 to 119.
Perrottet and NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres on Sunday announced a new campaign to sell the state to domestic and international visitors when it reopens.
The campaign goes beyond the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge to sell other parts of the state, Ayres said.
“They are exceptionally beautiful. there is no doubt. But this campaign is to go a little beyond them to be able to say that they will always be there, ”he said.
– avec Australian Associated Press