Under the revised roadmap, travel limit across metropolitan Melbourne will go, and 10 visitors including dependents can one’s home per day. Public gatherings will increase to 15 for the fully vaccinated.
The state recorded 1838 new local coronavirus cases and an additional seven deaths on Sunday.
The state government has also promised that once 70 per cent of the eligible population is double vaccinated, the curfew will go.
The Premier praised Victorians’ “conviction and passion” in their rush to get vaccinated, and said it was “incredible to be so close to NSW, even though they had been given an additional 500,000 doses earlier on in their lockdown.”
“Over 5million Victorians have had at least one dose of vaccine, and according to the revised Burnett model we will hit the 70 percent mark double vaccinated ahead of schedule.
“Victoria is heading towards being one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world,” Mr Andrews said.
“Vaccination rates will top 90 percent and 90 percent is not a ceiling, I think it’ll creep beyond that to 92 and 93 percent.”
“There would be no trigger for a lock down any more after 80 per cent double vaccination, except for very specific vulnerable groups.
“We are not locking down people anymore we are locking people out” the Premier said.
Neos Kosmos asked the Victorian Premier about the 130,000 jobs lost in this lockdown and the 43,000 people that had left the state and what the government would do to rebuild.
“Everyone knows my commitment to the economy, and development activity that is why there have been two economic road maps already laid out and we will do all we can to.
“I am confident and positive that Victoria will be able to bounce back” Mr Andrews said.
Neos Kosmos asked about migration as Victoria is one of the largest recipients of migrants in Australia after NSW. The Premier said that immigration is a Commonwealth issue however said that “Victoria’s economic growth based on just one factor, we do not rely on digging things out of the ground like some other states.”
There is a complex economic picture the Premier added, “my views on migration are well known but we also need to look at international workers, and students.”
Neos Kosmos asked if the powers of the Chief Health Officer (CHO) Professor Bret Sutton under the now two emergency acts, will be taken away once the state reaches 80 percent double vaccinated. The Premier said that the CHO’s powers “were not tied to the vaccination rate” and that it would be an act of parliament that would decide.
Neos Kosmos then asked the CHO if he had any evidence of infection outdoors. Professor Sutton pointed to the 2020 Rose Garden event at the White House in Washington D.C., which he said, “turned to a super spreader event.”
He did concede it that would be “highly unlikely to contract anything when walking alone in an empty street without a mask on.”
Professor Sutton was optimistic that the now “reduced lengths of stay, less people in hospital, and for a shorter period of time were due to the high vaccination coverage.”
“What the magnitude and impact of vaccination coverage is doing to ICU and hospital admissions look better than it was originally modelled, and the projections out a couple of months look better than we had expected, the fact is that the pandemic of the unvaccinated is becoming a smaller group.
Professor Sutton added while it was “a strain on the system”, and it is “enormously challenging.” “However, the situation does look better, and through November, December the 500 to 600 ICU beds will not be full in the coming months.”
“First doses make a difference, the data that is out is that vaccination is a substantial boost to immunity.”
The CHO said that the high infection number suggests that fatigue meant “less compliance in 2021 as in 2020.”
Mobility and behavioural survey data showed a high level of compliance, but not like 2020.
“We’re all human beings, we struggled against some difficult restrictions, especially not being able to see other family members… some people had broken restrictions, because they can’t tolerate it,”
Professor Sutton said.
“We think that part of the easing up at this juncture, and then at 80 percent, won’t lead to a huge increase in movement, because it has been there to some degree,” granted the CHO.
Neo Kosmos asked why Victoria unlike Denmark, could not have given more freedoms to the double vaccinated before the 70 percent and 80 percent, but relied instead on draconian measures.
“It’s almost entirely an issue of vaccination coverage, we might have been able to get there six months ago, but we did not have the supply.
“We were a latecomer in terms of OECD countries, Denmark got to a very high vaccination coverage at a much earlier point,” the CHO said.
“Denmark got to a higher vaccination coverage as Delta swept through, we did deal with Alpha, Beta and Kapa, and beaten them back time and time again, bit Delta was not something that those strategies had a level of success it is hugely transmissible,” said the CHO Professor Brett Sutton.
The light at the end of the tunnel is near. Victorians’ uptake of vaccination has been impressive, and it seems the state will reach record vaccination rates by November. The pressure put on the Victorian government by the Premier of NSW move to open his state earlier than predicted, and the recent volley by the Federal Treasurer may have jolted the Victorian government.