Melbourne’s Lockdown Exit Looms As Covid Cases Rise

Victoria’s case spike on Thursday with 2232 new infections and tragically 12 Covid-related deaths.

The high figures come as the state hit an almighty milestone with 70 per cent of eligible people aged over 16 now fully vaccinated.

Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The Melbourne Briefing – keeping you in the loop with breaking news as it hits.

The new infections were identified from 79,544 swabs received over the last 24-hour reporting period, while 37,824 jabs were administered at state-run sites, and many more at GP clinics and pharmacies.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has congratulated Victorians on surviving “the battle of a generation” with the state’s sixth lockdown to end at 11:59pm Thursday.

“I officially confirm, just got the figures, Victoria has reached 70.51 per cent double-dose vaccination rate right across the state. And good on Tasmania as well, because they have hit 70.6 per cent,” he told Channel Seven.

Under the state’s new rules, fully vaccinated people will be able to meet up at bars and restaurants, have 10 guests into their homes, get pampered at the hairdressers or beauty salons, and get the kids back to school.

Travel limits are also ditched, but regional travel is off the cards.

But as Victorian’s get ready to exit lockdown, Victoria’s Covid-19 response commander, Jeroen Weimar warned there are no grey areas for rule breakers. 

“There’s no leave pass between 9pm and midnight tomorrow night so you’ll have to wait for the witching hour to strike and then you can make your way down to the local pub, I am sure there will be some pubs that will be open,” he said on Wednesday.

“We all want to go to have a drink at midnight tomorrow night, or after midnight – I might wait till the next day – we all want to enjoy those new freedoms and I’m sure we all will but can we all please just remember this is one important step”.

“It’s not a mass Freedom Day, it’s not a mass ‘let’s go completely nuts’. There is still a significant risk,” he cautioned.

Not a small feat, Melburnians will have survived 77 days in current lockdown, with 263 days in total since the pandemic began.

Join Tom Tilley with regular rotating co-hosts Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi on The Briefing, Monday – Saturday, for the day’s headlines and breaking news as well as hot topics and interviews. Available on Listnr.

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