Dan Andrews has announced Victorians trapped in locked-down NSW for months may soon be able to return home 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.
While arrangements are still being drawn, Mr Andrews said he is aiming to permit 1000 travellers to return during the first fortnight of October.
‘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, that is very high on our [priority] list and we will have more to say about it later on in the week.’
Mr Andrews said Victorians in parts of NSW without stay-at-home orders can now apply to return home after those areas were downgraded from extreme risk zones.
‘Yesterday all of non-locked down NSW went to red so [Victorians can apply for a permit and come home and do two weeks’ home quarantine,’ he said.
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.
Meanwhile, 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.
Victoria’s roadmap out of lockdown
When the state hits 70 per cent double vaccination on October 26:
*No restrictions on leaving home and 9pm-5am curfew scrapped with the travel limit increased to 25km
*Masks will remain mandatory both indoors and outdoors
*Year 12 students will return to the classroom from the first week of October
*Kindergarten to Year 2 will then return to school followed by all remaining years which are due to be back by the end of the month
*Early childcare to reopen for children of fully vaccinated parents
*General retail will reopen for outdoor service only with click and collect services to remain available
*Hair salons will reopen for the fully-vaccinated with a limit on five patrons
*Hospitality will reopen for seated and outdoor service only for fully-vaccinated patrons and a capacity limit of 50
*Fully-vaccinated groups can gather outdoors in groups of ten while unvaccinated groups will be capped at five
*Entertainment venues will be reopened for 50 fully vaccinated people for outdoor services only
*Groups of 50 fully vaccinated or 10 unvaccinated people will be able to attend outdoor weddings
Groups of 50 fully vaccinated or 20 unvaccinated people will be able to attend outdoor funerals
When the state hits 80 per cent double vaccination on November 5:
*Ten people including dependents will be allowed inside homes with masks only to be required while indoors
*Pubs, restaurants and cafes can open for seated service only, with a cap of 150 fully vaccinated people inside and 500 outdoors
*Indoor dining will also be capped at 150 people while 30 people will be permitted to gather outside
*Gyms will reopen to the fully vaccinated with indoor community sport to be permitted for the minimum number required
*Victorians will still be asked to work from home if possible but will be allowed to travel to work if they are fully-vaccinated
*Hair salons, beauty and personal care services will be available to the double-jabbed and all retail stores can reopen
*Early childcare education will reopen with all students to return to school with additional safety measures in place
*Weddings, funerals and religious services will return for 150 double-dosed guests indoors and 500 outdoors
Internet Explorer Channel Network