Victoria’s highly-anticipated freedom roadmap has revealed lockdown-fatigued Melburnians will still be bound by a raft of Covid restrictions even once vaccination targets are hit as the state records 567 new cases.
But the premier has refused to budge on some rules even once 80 per cent of Victorians 16 and older have received both doses, expected to be around November 5.
Mask mandates will still be in place, with Victorians required to wear face masks indoor at all times, including work places – where employees will only be able to attend if they have received both doses of the jab.
Similar vaccination policies will apply to non-practical adult education facilities, with only the fully-inoculated allowed on campus.
Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown has been described as a ‘roadblock’ by business groups
Mask wearing will still be mandatory both indoors and outdoors in Victoria once the state hits the 80 per cent double dose target. Pictured: A woman walks though Carlton, Melbourne, on Saturday
Mr Andrews said the measures were need to prevent the state’s health system from buckling under ‘acute stress’ if restrictions were eased too quickly.
‘While we’re no longer aiming for Covid zero, it’s imperative we don’t jeopardise our health system as we open up – too many Victorians rely on it every day,’ he said.
It comes as Victoria recorded one death and 567 new Covid cases on Monday – the highest daily tally since the latest outbreak began in August.
The latest infections bring the number of active cases in the state to 5675.
The roadmap details some small changes to Melbourne’s restrictions when 80 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have received a single vaccine dose, including an increase of the 10-kilometre travel limit to 15km.
But lockdown will remain in place until 70 per cent of Victorians are double vaccinated, which is forecast for October 26.
At that stage, the city’s curfew will be lifted, the travel limit will increase to 25km and hospitality can open outdoors with a limit of 50 fully vaccinated people.
Victoria recorded 567 new locally-acquired Covid cases on Monday – the highest daily tally since the latest outbreak began in August
Only fully-vaccinated Victorians will be permitted to go to work once 80 per cent of eligible Victorians are fully-vaccinated, under the state’s roadmap to freedom. Pictured: A hospitality worker serves diners in Melbourne in June
Fully vaccinated people will also be able to get a haircut and gather outdoors in groups of 10.
Once Victoria reaches its 80 per cent double-dose target, forecast for November 5, the travel limit is scrapped altogether, retail, gyms and beauty services can reopen for the fully vaccinated and hospitality can resume indoors.
Home gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed, while at Christmas the figure is expected to increase to 30.
The reopening of schools will not be tied to vaccination coverage, with Year 12 students going back to class on October 6 and a staggered return of other years starting with Prep to Grade 2s on October 18.
Mr Andrews said the plan was ‘cautious’ and would prevent the state’s hospital system from being overrun.
But the opposition and business groups have described it as conservative, given Sydney is on track to enjoy far more freedoms about a fortnight earlier than Melbourne, despite having recorded more COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths.
Business groups and the opposition have questioned why Sydney is on track to enjoy far more freedoms than Melbourne (pictured) despite having less Covid-19 cases and deaths
Retail chief Paul Zahra said he was ‘gutted’ and called for consistency between NSW and Victoria (man spotted watching Melbourne protests from his house on Saturday)
‘Victorian businesses wanted a pathway to prosperity, but instead we got a roadmap with roadblocks,’ Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said in a statement.
‘It is extremely tough to look over the border and see our NSW neighbours get back to relatively normal life while we continue to be locked down in a holding pattern.’
The Australian Hotels Association Victorian president David Canny said he was ‘gutted’ and called for consistency between states.
The Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra said the road map was ‘disappointing’ and would cost the industry $6 billion.
On Sunday, Victoria recorded 507 new COVID-19 cases and the death of a man in his 90s, bringing the toll from the latest outbreak to 11.
Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast and Mitchell Shire also entered a seven-day lockdown due to a rise in infections.
Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown
When the state hits 70 per cent double vaccination on October 26:
*No restrictions on leaving home and 9pm-5am curfew scrapped with the travel limit increased to 25km
*Masks will remain mandatory both indoors and outdoors
*Year 12 students will return to the classroom from the first week of October
*Kindergarten to Year 2 will then return to school followed by all remaining years which are due to be back by the end of the month
*Early childcare to reopen for children of fully vaccinated parents
*General retail will reopen for outdoor service only with click and collect services to remain available
*Hair salons will reopen for the fully-vaccinated with a limit on five patrons
*Hospitality will reopen for seated and outdoor service only for fully-vaccinated patrons and a capacity limit of 50
*Fully-vaccinated groups can gather outdoors in groups of ten while unvaccinated groups will be capped at five
*Entertainment venues will be reopened for 50 fully vaccinated people for outdoor services only
*Groups of 50 fully vaccinated or 10 unvaccinated people will be able to attend outdoor weddings
Groups of 50 fully vaccinated or 20 unvaccinated people will be able to attend outdoor funerals
When the state hits 80 per cent double vaccination on November 5:
*Ten people including dependents will be allowed inside homes with masks only to be required while indoors
*Pubs, restaurants and cafes can open for seated service only, with a cap of 150 fully vaccinated people inside and 500 outdoors
*Indoor dining will also be capped at 150 people while 30 people will be permitted to gather outside
*Gyms will reopen to the fully vaccinated with indoor community sport to be permitted for the minimum number required
*Victorians will still be asked to work from home if possible but will be allowed to travel to work if they are fully-vaccinated
*Hair salons, beauty and personal care services will be available to the double-jabbed and all retail stores can reopen
*Early childcare education will reopen with all students to return to school with additional safety measures in place
*Weddings, funerals and religious services will return for 150 double-dosed guests indoors and 500 outdoors