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Dan Andrews under fire after allowing 10,000 punters at Melbourne Cup before kids go back to school

Dan Andrews comes under fire from lockdown-weary parents after giving 10,000 punters the green light to watch the Melbourne Cup BEFORE allowing kids to go back to school

  • Premier copped criticism from parents desperate to see children back in school  
  • Mr Andrews will let up to 10,000 fully-vaccinated spectators attend Oaks Day
  • November 4 event part of a trial to test Covid transmission at large-scale events 
  • School kids will have to wait until November 5 to go back to face-to-face learning
  • Parent lobby group said decision’s inconsistences were ‘glaring and frustrating’


Daniel Andrews has copped criticism from lockdown-weary parents after allowing thousands of punters to watch the Melbourne Cup before Victorian children can return to the classroom.

The Victorian premier will let up to 10,000 fully-vaccinated spectators attend Oaks Day on November 4 as part of a trial to test Covid transmission at large-scale events. 

School kids though will have to wait until November 5 – when the state is set to have hit its 80 per cent double vaccination target – to go back to face-to-face learning.

Education Minister James Merlino on Sunday said his government had no plan to fast track back-to-school plans unless vaccination rates grew significantly.

 

Punters pictured at the Melbourne Cup. Daniel Andrews has copped criticism from lockdown-weary parents for allowing 10,000 to attend Oaks Day before kids can go back to school in Victoria

‘If Oaks Day is contingent on 80 per cent, can’t schools be?’ Victorian Opposition Education spokesman David Hodgett told The Herald Sun. 

‘We are happy to see crowds returning to events, but why is the Melbourne Cup being prioritised before education.’

With Victoria now predicted to hit the 80 per cent coverage rate days ahead of schedule, parents have urged the state government to bring forward their back-to-school plan.  

‘The inconsistencies are glaring and frustrating,’ lobby group #WhatsThePlanDan spokeswoman Associate Professor Caroline Dowling said.

‘I think it’s incredibly inconsistent and inconsiderate of the government to think it’s okay to have 10,000 people at the Melbourne Cup when schools have not properly reopened.’ 

Last year, the Victorian state government was heavily criticised for allowing 1,000 horse owners to attend the Cox Plate while social gatherings were heavily restricted.

Premier Daniel Andrews' government has no plan to fast track back-to-school plans unless vaccination rates grow significantly

Premier Daniel Andrews’ government has no plan to fast track back-to-school plans unless vaccination rates grow significantly

Bentleigh Secondary College students in Melbourne during the pandemic. School kids will have to wait until November 5 - when the state is set to have hit its 80 per cent double vaccination target - to go back to face-to-face learning

Bentleigh Secondary College students in Melbourne during the pandemic. School kids will have to wait until November 5 – when the state is set to have hit its 80 per cent double vaccination target – to go back to face-to-face learning

Victorian businesses meanwhile are trialling new Covid-19 vaccine authorisation systems to check their customers are fully vaccinated.

BodyFit Training in Bendigo is one of 15 regional venues participating in the trial starting on Monday.

The system will be scaled up so double-vaccinated Victorians can attend the Melbourne Cup and live music within weeks, under plans to open up the economy when the state hits 80 per cent vaccination targets. 

Victoria on Monday recorded 1,612 cases, almost 300 fewer than the previous day, despite fears they could soon hit 3,000.

On Sunday Victoria added 1,890 infections to its caseload and an additional five deaths over the past 24 hours

On Sunday Victoria added 1,890 infections to its caseload and an additional five deaths over the past 24 hours

Melbourne is spending its 253rd day in lockdown since the pandemic began, with restrictions likely to last many more weeks as the state inches towards a 70 per cent vaccination rate.

Meanwhile, NSW’s lockdown ends today after 106 days with shops opening and stay-at-home orders revoked across the state.

Victoria will stay in lockdown until October 26, but will be subject to harsher restrictions including a ban on home visits until after 80 per cent vaccination.

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