COVID-19 restrictions ease at Victoria hits 70 per cent first jab target
VICTORIA will hit its target of 70 per cent of first dose COVID-19 vaccinations today (Thursday, September 16), and the Victorian Government has announced it will ease restrictions, as previously promised, in both regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.
The changes, announced by Premier Daniel Andrews earlier this afternoon, will come into effect both inside and outside Melbourne as of 11.59pm tomorrow (Friday, September 17).
In regional Victoria, the changes are:
- Movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria is still restricted to specified purposes, but one of the allowed reasons is now to get a COVID-19 vaccination if the appointment is at an adjacent LGA. Construction workers are now not allowed to cross the metropolitan-regional border for work
- Indoor physical recreation facilities will open, with a maximum of 10 people indoors and 20 outdoors per venue
- Pools will open with up to 50 people outdoors and 20 people indoors. Hydrotherapy and swimming lessons may occur. Spas, saunas and steam rooms will remain closed
- Tour transport is allowed, with up to 10 people per vehicle.
The City of Ballarat, which went into lockdown late yesterday (Wednesday, September 16), is staying on the same level of restrictions as metropolitan Melbourne.
Those changes include:
- A sixth reason to leave home, outdoor social interaction, has been added, which means one person may meet another person not from their household for a picnic, a walk, or another outdoor activity. Up to five adults (plus dependents) from two households will be able to gather outdoors if all adults present have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
- The time permitted for exercise and outdoor social interaction will increase from two hours a day to four hours. The distance you can leave home for shopping for necessary goods and services, exercise and outdoor social interaction will increase from 5km to 10km
- Two people will now be able to train outdoors with a personal trainer. Skate parks and outdoor communal exercise equipment will reopen
- Child-minding for school-aged children will be permitted if only one parent is an authorised worker
- Up to five people will be able to attend an entertainment venue or physical recreation facility to broadcast a performance, class, or concert
- Real estate inspections will resume by appointment only. To ensure they’re COVIDSafe, only people from the same household can attend the inspection appointment and the real estate agent must stay outdoors during the inspection.
Statewide, construction workers will need to show evidence to their employer that they have had at least a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine by 11.59pm on September 23.
There are three new COVID-19 cases in Ballarat, and seven more in regional Victoria – two in Greater Geelong, four cases in Mitchell Shire and one in Murrindindi Shire.
There were 41,758 doses of vaccine administered yesterday, just short of the previous day’s record figure.
People are very keen to get vaccinated because I think the vast majority of Victorians know that’s how we keep each other safe and it’s how we get the place open and it’s how we get back to normal,” Mr Andrews said.
“There are appointments available today, as I stand here right now. AstraZeneca and Pfizer appointments, please go online and book one and then turn up. Get your jab, then a second dose and be absolutely at the centre of us opening up and keeping people safe and well.
“69.2 per cent of Victorians aged between 16 and over, they have been first dosed, that is to say 69.2 per cent of Victorians have received a first dose of the eligible dose – that means tonight and into tomorrow we will tip over that 70 per cent first dose mark.
“The fact of the matter is somewhere across the state today someone will get the first dose and they will tip us over that 70 per cent mark. That’s fantastic.”