Victorian Covid case numbers SPIKE to 1,436 after most freedoms are restored as state reaches 80 per cent vaccination double dose
Covid-19 cases in Victoria have exploded again just days after a host of restrictions were eased.
The state recorded 1471 new cases and four deaths on Monday as Victoria reopened its international borders for the first time in 19 months.
Domestic flights with NSW and the ACT also resumed.
The latest spike in new infections come a day after the state recorded 1,036 cases and 12 deaths.
Up to 10,000 fully vaccinated racegoers will flock to Flemington for the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday after race went ahead without crowds during last year’s lockdown.
The number of active cases has risen to 21,959 as the death toll from the state’s latest outbreak grew to 309.
Domestic flights between NSW and Victoria resumed on Monday. Pictured are passengers on a flight from Sydney touching down at Melbourne Airport
Of the 699 cases in hospital, 136 are in intensive care with 86 on ventilators.
More than 46,065 Victorians came forward for testing on Sunday while another 14,413 rolled up their sleeves for a jab.
Around 81 per cent of Victoria’s population over the age of 16 are now fully vaccinated as the state welcomed its first batch of quarantine-free international travellers in 590 days on Monday.
Fully vaccinated international arrivals touching down in Melbourne will no longer have to undergo 14 days in hotel or home quarantine.
A flight from Singapore touched down at Melbourne airport on Monday morning, the first of five international planes scheduled across the day.
Another flight from Hong Kong will land at midday.
Passengers don’t have to isolate if they are inoculated with an approved vaccine, provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure and another 24 hours after arrival.
Children aged under 12 arriving with fully vaccinated parents, and people with a valid medical exemption will also not be required to quarantine.
Melburnians returned to Flemington Racecourse for Derby Day on Saturday, a week after they were lifted from their sixth lockdown
Victoria won’t cap the number of fully vaccinated returning Australians wishing to enter the state, but unvaccinated people and international arrivals who don’t meet the criteria will be limited to 250 per week.
The changes come into effect on the same day as in NSW.
In a move that will ramp up domestic flights along the usually busy Melbourne-Sydney route, travel between Victoria, NSW and the ACT also became unrestricted on Monday.
Krista Kim from Point Cook, whose father died from Covid-19, had an emotional reunion with her Sydney-based daughter Phillipa and her two granddaughters Selma, 2, and Kimiya, 5.
‘I just recovered from a heart attack 10 days ago. It’s really special,’ she told reporters.
She is expecting her other daughter to arrive from Amsterdam on Tuesday.
A host of restrictions were eased in Victoria last Friday after the state reached 80 per cent double dose target. Pictured are Melbourne department store shoppers checking in
Phillipa was meant to see her sister just before COVID-19 hit and now hasn’t locked eyes with her in four years.
‘We’ve both got two extra children that we’ve never met. So much has changed so it’s a big deal,’ she told AAP.
Outbound international travel is also set to increase, with the federal government no longer requiring exemptions for people to leave Australia.
The next easing of restrictions comes when 90 per cent of Victorians aged 12 and over have received both vaccine doses, forecast on or around November 24.
At that stage, almost all Covid-19 restrictions across the state will come to an end for the fully vaccinated.
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