Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has revealed just what freedoms the state can expect once it hits a major milestone.
Case numbers in Victoria have experienced a drop as fully vaccinated residents enter their first weekend of freedom. The state reported 1935 new infections – a slight increase from Saturday’s 1750 cases – and 11 deaths.
Meanwhile, NSW has recorded 296 new cases and four deaths, with cases expected to rise over the coming days due to the state’s eased restrictions.
Queensland has recorded no new local cases despite being on high alert after a rideshare driver was infectious in the community for 10 days.
Authorities said the man is “so sick” he can barely speak with contact tracers.
Victoria is expected to reach its 90 per cent double dose milestone on November 24 – and it will mean “very few rules” for the vaccinated.
“There will be no caps anywhere,” Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said.
“There will be no density questions anywhere. Masks will only be required in high-risk indoor settings, such as public transport, prisons, hospitals, aged care, to give you some examples.”
Vaccinated economy 'here to stay' in Victoria
Andrews stressed that many of these freedoms will only be available to the “vaccinated economy”, which is “here to stay”.
“We will retain the vaccinated economy, all those requirements, although settings, where you only get in if you are double vaccinated, and you can tap and verify that for everybody,” he said.
“But the vaccinated economy is here to stay. It will not be being folded up moments after it gets too full peak.
“In fact, we will add to the vaccinated economy by asking and mandating that all non-essential retail will have to be vaccinated as well, both to go in, and also to work on those settings.”
But as the state opened up, Andrews said Victorians could expect two rules in place through next year.
“Some masks in some settings, principally indoors, where there is a greater risk, and the economy being open to you only if you have had to shots, only if you are fully vaccinated,” he said.
“They are two rules that be enduring. They are the two rules that will be with us right throughout 2022.”
Victoria has recorded 1935 new Covid-19 infections as the virus sweeps through a large cohort of unvaccinated people.
Eleven more Victorians also died from the virus in the past 24 hours, the Department of Health also confirmed.
About 90.3 per cent of Victorians above the age of 16 had received one jab of the Covid-19 vaccine, and 73 per cent were completely inoculated.
Earlier, it was confirmed one group of Victorians was experiencing more infections with the virus than anyone else.
Twenty-nine per cent of all of Saturday’s new cases were in Victorians under the age of 19.
That day, there were 1750 infections.
Children aged under 12 remain ineligible for any Covid-19 vaccine available in Australia.
In Victoria’s Metro areas, two-thirds of all positive cases were now under 40.
In regional areas, three-quarters of cases were under 40.
“I call out to the young Victorians among us that you are particularly vulnerable at this point in time,” Victorian Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said earlier.
“You’re running into friends and associates who are Covid-positive so take every care to make sure you don’t become one of those statistics.”
Victorians were granted a raft of new freedoms this weekend after the state hit its 70 per cent double-dose vaccination target on Thursday.
From 11.59 pm on Thursday, restrictions to leave home, as well as the curfew, were scrapped.
There was no travel limit within metropolitan Melbourne, but travel authorisation was still required to enter regional Victoria.
Ten visitors, including dependants, are now able to visit someone’s home each day.
NSW has recorded 296 new local Covid-19 infections and four new deaths on Sunday.
There were 480 people in hospital with the coronavirus disease, 119 of whom were in intensive care.
The new coronavirus figures come as the state grapples with a labour shortage.
Premier Dominic Perrottet told journalists on Saturday there was a dire shortage of hospitality and agricultural workers to handle a surge in trade after the state’s lockdown.
“We know, particularly with reductions in immigration, reductions in skilled labour, international students not returning at this stage, it’s made it incredibly difficult for many industries to get the workers that they need,” Perrottet said.
“The feedback I’ve received over the last week is trade’s up 200 per cent and staff down 50 per cent. That is a real challenge facing the hospitality sector in New South Wales. And we’ll continue the discussions with the federal government.”
Covid-19 restrictions further eased for fully vaccinated people across NSW this week after the state passed its 80 per cent double vaccination target.
Perrottet said the state had been in discussion with the Federal government again over restrictions on working hours.
“We’ll look towards potentially making some changes there again,” he said.
“But the first focus for us is to get people back into work, to get businesses open. So it is a good challenge to have. It’s a better challenge than having high unemployment and not having demand in businesses right across the state.
“Hang in there, we are opening up.”
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