Victorian premier Dan Andrews has unveiled the long-awaited 'roadmap out of lockdown', detailing when Victoria will be able to open schools, businesses and entertainment venues. And he said once things opened, they would stay open.
"There will be no turning back. We have to normalise this. We have to pass through and pass on from this pandemic," said Andrews.
Once 70 per cent of Victorians have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine (on October 22)
Lockdown will end in Melbourne. People will be able to leave their homes for any reason, at any time. Ten people will be able to visit a home, and community sport can resume outdoors, with restrictions and capacity limits.
Pubs, clubs and entertainment venues can open for 50 vaccinated patrons outdoors and 20 vaccinated patrons indoors. Weddings and funerals can open for 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors and 20 indoors.
In regional Victoria, 30 fully vaccinated people will be able to dine indoors.
Once 80 per cent of Victorians have received two doses (around November 2)
Regional and metropolitan Melbourne will be on the same set of rules. Up to ten people will be able to visit your home per day. Up to 150 people will be able to dine indoors, and 30 will be permitted to gather in public outside. Indoor community sport will be able to reopen. Masks will be required inside only. Pubs, restaurants and cafés can open for seated service for 150 people inside and 500 outside. Offices can reopen. All retail will be open, as will health and beauty services.
Weddings, funerals and religious services will be allowed for 150 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.
Beyond November 2
Andrews said it was his hope that things would continue to open further and restrictions would continue to ease beyond the 80 per cent target, and that he hoped 30 visitors would be able to visit a home on Christmas Day. He said international travel would be able to resume, and he was hopeful interstate travel would reopen.
Andrews said Victoria would be able to learn from the example of NSW, which will hit 70 per cent and 80 per cent vaccination targets a few weeks before Victoria would.
"If we open steadily, gradually as we get to 70 and 80 per cent double dosed, our nurses, our doctors and our ambos will be under intense pressure. But we will pass through a gateway," said Andrews. "We have got to open the place up, because remaining closed forever has its own cost."
More than 43,000 Victorians got vaccinated yesterday, as the state inches closer to its target of 80 per cent full vaccination. Andrews emphasised again that there was plenty of AstraZeneca vaccine available right now for everyone who was eligible for it. "I think it's a bit uncertain how much Pfizer is going to come to our country and to our state," said Andrews. "That's why it's even more important to get an AstraZeneca appointment today."
Vax and the City: Every public health official in Australia agrees that mass vaccination is the only way out of this crisis. We at Time Out recommend that you get vaccinated as soon as you can, if that is appropriate for your own health. Please speak to a medical professional about what is right for you. Here's what you need to know about how to get a vaccine right now.