Australia

Victoria records 2,232 new COVID-19 cases as it hits 70 per cent double vaccination target

There were 79,544 tests processed and 37,824 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered at state-run hubs on Wednesday.

Victoria has also officially passed its 70 per cent full COVID-19 vaccination target, a key reopening milestone in the state’s roadmap.

Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed 70.51 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have now received both doses.

The state government had already announced Melbourne would emerge from lockdown at 11.59pm on Thursday, five days earlier than planned.

“The longest road has been journeyed in Victoria and that long road really starts to open up tonight,” Mr Morrison told the Seven Network.

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When stay-at-home orders lift, Melburnians will have endured 77 full days in their current lockdown and 263 total days since the beginning of the pandemic – a record for any city across the globe.

Under the new rules, people will be able to leave their homes for any reason and travel anywhere within metropolitan Melbourne.

The curfew will be scrapped, home gatherings of up to 10 will be allowed, and hairdressers and hospitality businesses will reopen for the fully vaccinated.

However, in a last-minute change to reopening plans, all hospitality staff must be fully vaccinated to work.

This is despite online health directions stating authorised workers, including those in hospitality, must have had one vaccine dose by 22 October and a second by 26 November.

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