Victorians are set to welcome each other into their homes sooner than expected as the state government fast tracks freedoms for those fully-vaccinated against Covid.
As many as five fully-vaccinated people will reportedly be allowed to gather inside homes once 70 per cent of the state’s eligible population aged over 16 have had both jabs.
That critical milestone in Victoria’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to be achieved next week – with restrictions eased from Monday, October 25.
The state’s crisis cabinet is also expected to lift Melbourne’s 15km travel limit at the 70 per cent mark, The Sunday Herald Sun reported.
Regional travel though is expected to be banned until the state hits the 80 per cent double-vaccination threshold.
As many as five fully-vaccinated people will reportedly be allowed to gather inside homes in Victoria at the 70 per cent double-dose vaccination mark, which is set to be achieved next week
Victorian health officials are ringing those with second dose bookings asking them to bring their appointments forward to October 25 to help reach these targets sooner
The state government is also set to remove the 15 km travel limit in metropolitan Melbourne when the 70 per cent target is hit by the end of the week
‘It’s something we have been looking at – visitors at the home at 70 [per cent],’ a Labor insider said.
Government officials in Victoria are meanwhile increasing efforts to get 80 per cent of the state to be fully vaccinated by the end of October.
To do so, health staff are contacting 100,000 Victorians to bring forward their second dose of the vaccine.
Freedoms at 70 per cent for fully vaccinated Victorians so far include non-essential retail opening with density limits and the limit on outdoor social gatherings rising to 10 fully-vaccinated people.
Pubs, clubs and entertainment venues will also be opening with density limits as well as intrastate travel with the exception of metropolitan Melbourne.
Caps on funerals, weddings and religious ceremonies will also be increased.
The state government has approved crowds at some large-scale events including Remembrance Day, with health officials confirming on Saturday night the state would be likely to hit 70 and 80 per cent targets within a week of each other if appointments for the second doses are brought forward.
Victorians are set to see each other sooner than expected due to a push for restrictions to end by the end of the month
Freedoms at 70 per cent fully vaccinated targets include pubs, clubs and entertainment venues opening with density limits
‘With regular supplies of Pfizer and Moderna now available, every eligible Victorian now has the opportunity to bring forward their Covid-19 vaccination and get protected sooner,’ a department statement said.
‘Up to 100,000 Victorians can expect to get a call from the Department of Health in coming days inviting them to bring forward their second doses of Pfizer.’
The coronavirus hotline is now ringing those with second dose bookings, asking them to move up their jabs to October 25 or earlier due to a serge in Pfizer and Moderna as one million doses arrive in Victoria next week.
Retail will also open with density limits as the Department of HEalth pushes to increase vaccination rates
Changes to the NSW roadmap and border arrangements as well as faster rates of vaccination have encouraged these decisions
According to the Department of Health, victoria needs 269,341 second doses to reach the 70 per cent target and be able to experience these freedoms
This campaign is set to save at least two days of lockdown and suggests Victoria will be able to reopen by October 31 according to analyst Anthony Macali of Covidlive.com.au.
Mr Macali said he was optimistic Victoria would achieve its vaccine targets before the proposed dates.
‘There’s a small chance, a very best-case scenario that we get to 80 per cent by the 30th of October, but I’m calling the 31st of October,’ he said to The Herald Sun.
According to the department, Victoria needs 269,341 second doses to reach the 70 per cent target as the Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says Australia is now ahead of the EU and US for first dose numbers.
On Friday 1,993 new cases of Covid were recorded in Victoria as a 15-year-old girl becomes the state’s youngest Covid victim.