/ 18 October 2021

Victoria and NSW are moving on

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

Melbourne and parts of regional Victoria in lockdown will shake it off on Thursday night when the state is expected to hit the full vaccination target of 70% of those aged 16yo and over. Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday thanked the 5 million Victorians who have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. He says it means the state can “change the rules to open up, to normalise this, to get our friends back, to be focused on living our lives as close to normal as possible.” The hope is that widespread lockdowns will be a thing of the past – music to the ears of Melburnians, who have had more days in lockdown than anyone else in the world.

It is – there were 1,993 new cases on Saturday and 1,838 yesterday. Those numbers were a decrease on those recorded in the 2,000s late last week. So while there is an easing of restrictions that comes with hitting the 70% vaccination target, some measures to prevent the spread of the virus remain in place, like the mandatory wearing of masks indoors/outdoors and travel from Melbourne to regional areas. Andrews says easing up is the right thing to do even with high case numbers because “they are not converting into hospitalisations at quite the rate we thought they would.”

There sure is. NSW has hit the 80% fully vaxxed target and is no longer considered a COVID hotspot. That means from today, a whole heap of restrictions will be dropped. On Friday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet was hyped – and not just because he’s got a new bub on the way… Crack out your new international vaccine certificate – travellers coming from overseas will be able to enter NSW without quarantining from 1 November. Note: PM Scott Morrison had to mop up some of the newbie’s enthusiasm clarifying that it’s Aussie citizens/permanent residents/their families only – the border is not open to tourists just yet… But not everywhere has their freedom mojo: southern Tassie is in lockdown until at least tonight after a hotel quarantine breach, although no local cases have been detected.

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