Australia Corona Virus

‘We are opening up next week’: Victorian freedoms to come early despite record COVID spike

Source: 7news

Daniel Andrews has assured Victorians the state is “opening up next week” despite a record high of more than 2000 COVID-19 cases.

On Thursday, cases spiked to 2297 infections, the biggest daily surge recorded anywhere in the country during the pandemic.

But speaking outside of parliament, the Victorian premier told reporters the roadmap was being delivered.

“I have said this consistently. That at some point – at 70 per cent and 80 per cent (vaccine coverage) – we stop locking down the whole community to protect people who wouldn’t protect themselves,” he said.

“The position of the government is clear, the science is clear, the data is clear.

“That’s why we are opening up next week. We are going to deliver the roadmap.

‘We are opening up next week.’

“Because Victorians have done an amazing job getting vaccinated in record numbers in record time and I’m proud of them.”

Andrews said the case numbers became less relevant as the vaccine targets were reached.

Victoria is currently days ahead of schedule and should reach 70 per cent double dose vaccination coverage by next week, well before the initial forecast date of October 26.

Under the state’s roadmap, the 70 per cent vaccination coverage sparks an extension to the travel radius and the end of the curfew, while 10 fully vaccinated people will be allowed to gather outside and hospitality permitted to reopen for 50 vaccinated people outdoors.

If this target is reached ahead of schedule then the 80 per cent double dose benchmark will also be achieved earlier than flagged.

At 80 per cent coverage, Victorians will be allowed to have home gatherings of up to 10 people, indoor dining of up to 150 fully vaccinated people will be permitted, masks will only be required inside and all retail will be open.

Overnight, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said he was “open” to the idea of tweaking home gatherings earlier than the 80 per cent target.

But while investigations are ongoing, much of Thursday’s case surge is believed to be due to banned home gatherings.