Australia

Victoria records 1,993 new local COVID-19 cases and seven deaths

It comes as the Victorian government comes under fire over a COVID-19 restriction “anomaly” that will let fully vaccinated people from NSW travel across the state before Melbourne residents.

Doubled-dosed Victorians and non-residents from “red zones” such as Greater Sydney will be able to enter Victoria without quarantining for 14 days from 11.59pm on 19 October. They must still return a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before arrival in Victoria, and then isolate, get tested again within 72 hours and remain in isolation until they receive a negative result.

Fully vaccinated travellers from “orange zones” will also no longer be required to get tested or isolate upon arrival.

The permit changes, which do not apply to unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people, open the door for Victorians to reunite with family and friends from NSW weeks before those in the state’s regions.

Melburnians are currently subject to a 15 kilometre travel limit, which will expand to 25 kilometres when 70 per cent of people aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated, and regional travel is banned until it hits 80 per cent coverage under the state’s roadmap.

The curfew in Melbourne will also lift at 70 per cent double dose vaccination, outdoor retail and hospitality will be able to reopen, and up to 10 fully vaccinated people will be able to meet outdoors.

In regional areas not subject to lockdown, the limit on fully vaccinated people able to meet outdoors will rise to 20 and the number of fully vaccinated people allowed to dine both indoors and outdoors at hospitality venues will also increase.

The latest data shows 87.62 per cent of Victorians aged 16 and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 63.81 per cent are fully inoculated.

Premier Daniel Andrews is expected on Sunday to announce the exact date Melbourne’s sixth lockdown will lift, with the state projected to hit 70 per cent full vaccination ahead of schedule next week.

With AAP

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