There were 1,461 new cases of COVID-19 recorded on Monday morning and seven deaths, down from 1,935 cases and 11 deaths on Sunday. There are now 24,993 active cases in the state.

The new cases came after hospitality opened on Friday, and plans are underway for more freedoms as the double vaccination rate increases from the current 74 per cent.

New rules go into effect next month as nearly all restrictions are lifted, however Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has warned that the “vaccinated economy” will continue in the state in 2022.

READ MORE: Lockdown will be missed on some level

New freedoms are set to go into effect when Melbourne hits the 90 per cent double vaccination rate, however from 6pm Friday 29 October, the following rules are set to go into effect:

  • free travel from metropolitan Melbourne to regional Victoria
  • early childhood education and care is set to open and all students will return to school, however safety measures will be in place
  • on-site adult education returns, but only for fully vaccinated Victorians
  • restaurants, pubs, gyms and hairdressers will open without any caps but will be subject to one person per four square metres as long as all staff and patrons are fully vaccinated.

Mr Andrews said there would be no caps on any activity and masks would only be required at high-risk settings once the state reached the 90 per cent double vaccination rate. He said he hoped the 2021 Boxing Day Test would set a record for an Australian crowd since the pandemic started.

READ MORE: Melbourne lockdown ends, but opening up isn’t easy

Unlike NSW, where those who are unvaccinated will largely be allowed the same freedoms as those who are vaccinated from December, Mr Andrews expects to keep restrictions limiting the activities of the unvaccinated throughout next year.

Mr Andrews made it clear that non-essential retail and events would be vaccine mandated, effectively banning those who are unvaccinated from attending or working in those settings. Victoria’s premier confirmed that those who are unvaccinated would be banned from attending anything from a bookshop to a pub or football game until at least 2023, and said the shift was due to the unvaccinated continuing to be the biggest burden on the health system. He said that 93 per cent of the 146 people in intensive care were unvaccinated.