Victorians trapped in locked-down NSW for months could finally get home as Dan Andrews flags 500 per week quarantine cap
Dan Andrews has announced Victorians trapped in locked-down NSW may be able to return home within the next fortnight as he flags a 500 per week quarantine cap.
The premier said the state government is devising a plan to enable Victorians to self-isolate at home, which will ease pressure on the state’s hotel quarantine system.
‘Say from next week, over the two weeks after that, we have say 1,000 spots that people can come home,’ he told reporters on Monday.
‘Getting Victorians home, absolutely, is a priority and we will have more to say about it later on in the week.’
Victoria recorded its highest number of Covid cases in the current outbreak on Monday, with 567 new locally acquired cases and one death – a Moreland woman in her 70s.
More than 300,000 Moderna vaccines will be delivered to pharmacies across Victoria this month, with more expected in October and November.
‘The Moderna vaccine is available from later this week and there’s a lot of it,’Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
‘It is incredibly effective, just as the other two are, in protecting you against becoming gravely unwell.’
Victorian Pharmacy Guild president Anthony Tassone said 440 pharmacies in the state will receive the Moderna vaccine this week, and another 281 next week.
‘Some pharmacies may offer walk-in services, but I always recommend you try to make an appointment wherever possible,’ he said.
Pharmacies will now be administering both AstraZeneca and Moderna.
Mr Tassone urged Victorians to ‘please be patient’ with their local pharmacies, if they do not immediately offer bookings for Moderna.
‘Don’t wait for a particular vaccine – get what you can get because they’re all safe and effective,’ he said.
He warned Moderna will not be available to people aged over 60 yet, and said the time recommended between doses is four weeks.
In the 24 hours to Monday, 50,915 tests were processed and 39,939 Victorians received a vaccine dose at state-run hubs.
The state’s roadmap out of lockdown was released on Sunday, detailing small changes to restrictions when 80 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have received a single vaccine dose.
Melbourne’s 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 for 50 fully vaccinated people.
Once the 80 per cent double-dose target is met, forecast for November 5, the travel limit is scrapped, retail, gyms and beauty services will reopen for the fully vaccinated and hospitality resumes indoors.
Also under the plan, interstate and international travel can resume once 80 per cent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated.
The opposition and business groups have described it as ‘a roadmap with roadblocks’, saying the plan is too conservative when compared with NSW’s plan.
The roadmap is based on Burnet Institute modelling, which shows that Victoria’s Covid-19 cases will peak at between 1400 and 2900 per day between October 19 and 31.