Victorians will remain under current lockdown restrictions until at least 70 per cent of its residents have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The State Government today unveiled its reopening plan, confirming Victorians will remain under strict curfew until more of the population is vaccinated.
It comes after the state recorded 120 new coronavirus infections and two deaths in the past 24 hours, the first time daily case numbers have exceeded 100 since September last year.
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As a result, Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed almost all of the current lockdown restrictions will remain in place until at least 23 September, which is when 70 per cent of Victorians are estimated to have received at least one jab.
“Due to the ongoing level of community transmission and the continued number of unlinked cases popping up across the state, Victoria’s lockdown will be extended,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“Victorians cannot afford to open up and let this virus run free… Our hospital system would be overrun, our frontline staff would be placed under too much pressure and quite simply, people would die”.
“We need to continue to slow the spread of the virus until more of us are vaccinated”.
Until the state reaches its vaccination target, there will still only be five reasons for people to leave home, including shopping for essentials, authorised work and study, caregiving, exercise and getting vaccinated.
However, in some good news, the Premier has confirmed the controversial playground ban will be lifted on Friday for children aged 12 and under.
Kids will need to be supervised by just one parent or caregiver, who will be required to wear a mask at all times.
QR codes will also be present at playgrounds, with all adults required to check in.
Once 70 per cent of Victorians have had at least one vaccine dose, the State Government has promised restrictions will be eased a little further.
Some of the incentives include expanding the 5km radius to 10km for exercise and essential shopping, and increasing exercise for an extra hour, for up to three hours per day.
Outdoor personal training will also be allowed with up to two people plus the trainer, while outdoor communal gym equipment and skateparks will also reopen.
Private inspections of unoccupied premises for a new purchase or end of lease will also be allowed, but only one household can attend at a time, with the agent required to remain outdoors during the inspection.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the vaccination target was the “light at the end of the tunnel”.
“Absolutely it’s tough and three weeks seems like an eternity,” he said.
“It is the genuine pathway out of here that means that we can take those small steps forward, bit by bit, and not have to take backward steps again.”