Daniel Andrews has made a massive call about lockdowns and revealed the one thing that will need to change first.
The Victorian Premier has hinted at a “very different set of rules” at the start of next year providing enough Australians have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Daniel Andrews said “opening up” communities and the country to the rest of the world was still risky after one jab – instead of two – and “promotes variants and mutations”.
“Our plan – not just in Victoria but across the country – is everybody who wants to get two shots gets them by the end of the year and we start 2022 with a very different set of rules,” he told media on Tuesday morning.
Mr Andrews hinted that was the time when lockdowns would start to be ruled out.
“This ends by everybody getting two jabs and then we’re able to say we’ve all done our very best to protect everyone who needs to be protected,” he said.
“There’ll then still be from time to time masks and things of that nature but not lockdowns.”
The Victorian Premier said having about 75 per cent of Australians fully vaccinated would put the community in a stronger position to combat the spread of Covid-19 but revealed health authorities wanted that figure even higher.
“We’ll still have to make sure we’re not overwhelmed by that 20 per cent of people who don’t have the vaccine – or 10 per cent, hopefully it’s a tiny number – we need to protect against it running wild on vaccinated groups,” Mr Andrews said.
“If 75 per cent of Australians get two jabs – 25 per cent haven’t – that’s still the equivalent of the state of Victoria not vaccinated. If it (the virus) runs through there and a percentage of people get really unwell, then that’s your hospitals full.”
It comes after Victoria closed its border to NSW following 112 new infections in that state on Monday. Health authorities then plunged an entire Maribyrnong apartment complex into lockdown Monday after a group of infectious removalists visited the site from NSW.
Residents of the Ariele Apartments on Thomas Holmes St were told they must not leave their buildings unless they are receiving a Covid-19 test or in an emergency. The health department announced three new infections in Victoria on Tuesday, but two of the cases had been previously revealed on Monday afternoon.
Authorities said the third case was another member of the same household who had been isolating during their infectious period.
The new infections are all linked to the state’s northern neighbour, where Sydney is fighting to control an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant expanding rapidly across the city.
They are all members of a family of four who returned to their home in Melbourne’s north from Sydney last week.