As Victoria begins to open up after six gruelling lockdowns, an alarming figure has revealed the stark reality of how the outbreak has swept across the state.
Two-thirds of Victoria’s new Covid-19 cases every day are unvaccinated, health authorities have revealed, as the virus continues to run rampant through the state.
Victoria recorded 1461 new locally acquired coronavirus infections on Monday, a significant drop from Sunday’s figure of 1935 cases, sparking hope the curve in Victoria could be flattening.
Seven more Victorians died from the virus in the past 24 hours, the Department of Health also confirmed.
The state’s Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar said the outbreak was largely a pandemic of the unvaccinated, as those who were fully vaccinated were able to enjoy greater freedoms since Victoria reopened on Friday.
“Two-thirds of the new cases every single day are not vaccinated – not the first dose, not fully vaccinated, they’re just not vaccinated,” he said.
Mr Weimar said particular areas of concern were the local government areas of Wyndham, where 96 per cent of the new cases aged under 40 were not fully vaccinated, and Hume, where 97 per cent under 40 were not fully vaccinated.
“For your protection, and the protection of those you love around you, get the vaccination job done over the coming days,” Mr Weimar said.
About 500,000 people aged over 12 in Victoria are not protected by any vaccine.
“It is that half a million that we really want to focus on now,” Mr Weimar said.
“They are the ones who are far more likely to be caught up in our daily case numbers and far more likely to end up in hospital in intensive care.”
About 90.4 per cent of Victorians older than 16 had received one jab of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 74 per cent were fully vaccinated.
The state was expected to reach its 80 per cent double-dose vaccination target on Friday, which will trigger a raft of new freedoms from 6pm.
All the rules changing at 6pm Friday:
- Travel from Melbourne to regional Victoria will be allowed;
- Most indoor settings, including restaurants, pubs, gyms and hairdressers will open with no caps subject to a 1-person per four square metres limit – all staff and patrons must be fully vaccinated;
- Most outdoor settings will remain at one person per 2 sqm limit (up to 500 people) – 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;
- Early childhood education and care is open. All students return to school with additional safety measures in place. On-site adult education returns for fully vaccinated Victorians;
- 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 up to 1000 people, and for non-seated indoor entertainment venues there will be a one person per 4 sqm limit with no patron cap; and
- Masks will remain mandatory indoors but no longer required outdoors. It is highly recommended you continue to wear a mask outdoors where you cannot physically distance.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the significant changes on Sunday and said even more freedoms were likely to happen on November 24 when 90 per cent of eligible Victorians would be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
“There will be a fundamental change, a massive change in many respects, to the rules that we have all been living under,” he said.
“There will be no caps anywhere. There will be no density limits anywhere.
“Masks will only be required in high risk indoor settings, such as public transport, prisons, hospitals, aged care.
“We will retain the vaccinated economy, all those requirements, all those settings, where you can only get in if you are double vaccinated.”