How Melburnians will be forced to live with brutal Covid restrictions even AFTER Victoria reaches 90 per cent double-vaccination milestone
- Victoria set to reach 90 per cent double dose vaccination target next week
- Premier Daniel Andrews promised ‘very few rules’ will remain once target is hit
- Some rules stay including masks in high risk settings and drinking while seated
Fears are growing long-suffering Melburnians won’t be able to eat or drink standing up in pubs or restaurants or dance at weddings, nightclubs and other functions – even when 90 per cent of the state is fully vaccinated.
And in another move that will continue the chaos that’s paralysed the state for almost two years, fully-vaccinated primary contacts of Covid cases are likely to be forced to self-isolate for seven days.
Premier Daniel Andrews had promised ‘very few rules’ once 90 per cent of Victoria’s population aged over-12 is fully vaccinated and is due to make further announcements in the coming days.
The state is on track to reach the milestone as early as next Monday.
However, with cases spiking again on Wednesday to 996 with nine deaths, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra warned Covid restrictions after the state reached the 90 per cent jab rate were unsustainable.
The wearing of masks on public transport and other high risk settings is here to stay (pictured, commuters in Melbourne)
He said the demands for contacts of Covid cases to isolate were impractical because too many workplaces and schools were being forced to close.
Mr Guerra called on the Andrews Government to only require close contacts to isolate until they return a negative test.
He also called for all restrictions to be abolished and for the return of international workers, students and tourists.
But while caps on home visitors will be scrapped and many hospitality, retail and entertainment venues will return to maximum capacity, there are concerns some infuriating restrictions will remain.
While masks wearing in indoors will be scrapped, they will remain mandatory in high risk settings such as hospitals and on public transport.
Business leaders are calling for Victoria’s Covid restrictions to be eased, including allows diners to stand while eating and drinking (pictured race goers at Flemington on Derby Day)
Diners must be seated while eating and drinking while restrictions on gaming venues, education settings, recreational facilities, dance floors, and indoor and outdoor entertainment venues will stay.
Mr Andrews hinted at more eased restrictions when the 90 per cent vaccination target is reached.
‘We will be able to make some very exciting announcements quite soon about us reaching our 90 per cent double-dose target,’ he told reporters on Tuesday.
COVID IN VICTORIA: THE LATEST
Victoria has recorded 996 new COVID-19 cases and nine people have died with the virus, as hospitalisation numbers continue to decline.
The health department confirmed on Wednesday the state is now managing 14,260 active coronavirus infections.
It is the fourth straight day Victoria’s case numbers are below 1000.
There are 394 virus patients in hospital, 37 fewer than Tuesday’s tally, with 58 actively infected with COVID-19, 65 have been cleared, and 35 on ventilators.
The state’s seven-day hospitalisation average has fallen by 16 to 402.
Health officials say virus testers processed 72,010 results on Tuesday and 6692 people were vaccinated at state-run hubs.
Victoria is now 87 per cent double-vaccinated in those aged over 12.
Some restrictions will remain even after Victoria reached the 90 per cent double dose target