Victoria records 779 cases, two deaths
Restrictions will ease slightly across Victoria from Wednesday, when the state is forecast to have vaccinated 80 per cent of its population with at least one jab.
Another 779 new locally acquired COVID-19 infections and two further deaths were reported on Saturday.
The state is now host to more than 8000 active cases, but Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday confirmed a number of rules would soon relax, in accordance with the state’s roadmap out of lockdown.
“I’m not overselling this. They are modest things and it’s not freedom day,” he said.
“It’s not the end of the lockdown (but) that is getting closer every day.”
The state is expected to pass 80 per cent single dose vaccination coverage on Tuesday, and from 11.59pm outdoor recreation activities like golf and tennis are back on the table for residents of locked down municipalities.
Residents of locked down areas will also be able to travel 15 kilometres from home, up from 10, while patron caps in regional venues will increase from 20 to 30.
There was also good news for the City of Geelong, which will be released from lockdown at midnight, despite the diagnosis of six new cases on Saturday.
“There are still cases there and perhaps in another environment in previous times, we would have stayed in lockdown to drive those numbers down to a hard zero,” Deputy Chief Health Officer Deb Friedman said.
“But that’s no longer in line with our management of this virus, under the national plan.”
Restrictions will also ease on the state’s Surf Coast from midnight on Sunday, but the Mitchell Shire will remain in lockdown.
All three regions were plunged into lockdown a week ago after positive coronavirus cases emerged.
“Mitchell Shire being directly adjacent to some of the local government areas that have the highest rates of COVID anywhere in Australia is perennially vulnerable to these incursions,” Ms Friedman said.
Meanwhile, police snuffed out a sixth day of anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protests in Melbourne on Saturday, dispersing and arresting would-be demonstrators in St Kilda.
Organisers on an encrypted messaging platform have made vague plans for more protests on Sunday.
– BY AAP