Nearly There: Return To Normality With 80 And 90 Vax Rates
After record vaccination rates that will soon see Victoria become one of the most vaccinated places in the world, our state is set on a path back to normal living resembling our pre-COVID lives.
Thanks to the hard work of millions of Victorians who turned out to get vaccinated in recent months, the Victorian Government has today been able to outline what life will be like as we hit our 80 per cent and 90 per cent double dose targets.
Victoria will reach its 80 per cent double dose vaccination milestone almost a week ahead of schedule, on Friday 29 October. When we reach our 90 per cent double dose milestone – predicted to be as early as 24 November – a significant easing of all major restrictions will occur.
With so many Victorians between the ages of 12 and 15 having raced to get the jab, our 80 per cent double vaccination milestone will come early. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has determined that on Friday 29 October at 6:00pm, Victoria will move forward in opening up and more restrictions will fall away.
Regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne will unite and move forward on the same restrictions, enabling people from Melbourne to travel to regional Victoria and interstate again.
Most indoor settings, including restaurants, pubs, gyms and hairdressers will open with no caps subject to a DQ4 (1 per 4sqm) limit, if all staff and patrons are fully vaccinated. Most outdoor settings will remain at DQ2 (1 per 2sqm) limit up to 500, where staff and patrons are fully vaccinated.
These indoor and outdoor settings will also apply to weddings, funerals and religious gatherings if all attendees are fully vaccinated. Caps of 30 people will apply for weddings, funerals and religious gatherings if vaccination status is unknown.
Entertainment venues will reopen. For indoor seated venues including cinemas and theatres, there will a 75 per cent capacity or DQ4 up to 1,000 people and for non-seated indoor entertainment venues there will be a DQ4 limit with no patron cap.
Outdoor seated and non-seated entertainment venues including stadiums, zoos and tourism attractions will be open with a DQ2 limit up to 5,000 where staff and patrons are fully vaccinated.
Events – such as music festivals – will be able to host up to 5,000 attendees, subject to any restrictions related to the venue. The Chief Health Officer may also grant an approval for larger crowds for significant events and venues under the Public Events Framework.
Masks will remain mandatory indoors but are no longer required outdoors. It is highly recommended you continue to wear a mask outdoors where you cannot physically distance, such as busy street or outdoor market.
The next milestone in the Roadmap will be when Victoria hits the 90 per cent double dose vaccination target for Victorians 12 years and over – predicted to be as early as Wednesday 24 November.
At this point, caps or density quotients will be removed for all settings, and masks will only be mandatory indoors in some high-risk settings such as hospitals, aged care, public transport and justice and correctional facilities.
There will be no restrictions for indoor and outdoor events provided they follow COVIDSafe rules including vaccination requirements.
Events with significant numbers of children may not be able to operate at full capacity while vaccines remain unavailable for children. There will be some caps for religious ceremonies, weddings and funerals where vaccination status is unknown.
If you haven’t booked your appointment, please book it today. Over the next week there are 123,000 first and second dose appointments available. Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their GP or pharmacist.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We made a deal with the Victorian community – we asked them to get vaccinated and promised that when they did, we would open up and begin to live alongside the virus. Today we are delivering on that promise.”
“Victorians have met this challenge beyond any of our expectations and these vaccination rates are an incredible achievement. We’re on our way to being one of the most vaccinated – and therefore one of the safest – places in the entire world.”