As Melbourne braces for lockdown to finally end at midnight tonight, the state has just hit its biggest vaccination milestone yet.
On Channel 7’s breakfast news program, Sunrise, this morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was asked if Victoria opening up is the right thing to do despite case numbers still being so high (the state recorded 1841 new locally acquired coronavirus cases yesterday, bringing the total number of active cases to 22,598).
In response, he said: “Well, I can officially confirm, just got the figures: Victoria has reached 70.51 per cent vaccination rate double-dosed right across the state.” That was the target we were working towards for lockdown to end, so it’s come just in time.
“The longest road has been journeyed in Victoria,” Morrison continued, “and that road starts to open up tonight.”
Jab well done, Victoria. Here’s a simple rundown of what’s changing.
From 11.59pm on Thursday October 21:
• Lockdown will end in Melbourne. The six reasons to leave home will no longer apply; neither will the 9pm to 5am curfew.
• The 15-kilometre travel limit will be scrapped, though travel from metro Melbourne into regional Victoria still won’t be allowed.
• Home visits will be allowed for up to 10 people per day, including dependents. It’s “highly recommended” those people over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated.
• The outdoor-gathering limit will increase from five to 15 people, including dependents.
• Hospitality venues will be able to reopen to 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 outdoors. Entertainment venues can also open to 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors.
• Weddings and funerals will be permitted for 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors and 20 fully vaccinated people indoors.
• Community-sport training will return for the minimum number of players required to train.
• All school students will go back to in-person learning, at least part-time.
• Hairdressing and personal-care services will open for up to five fully vaccinated people.