17 Oct 2021

Victoria records 1838 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths, eases lockdown restrictions

4:59 pm on 17 October 2021

Despite recording 1838 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths in the Australian state of Victoria today, the state government intends to lift the lockdown in Melbourne and other parts from 11:59pm on Thursday.

A paramedic pushes a bed towards his ambulance in Melbourne on October 9, 2021, as Victoria state recorded 1965 new Covid cases, its highest daily infection number since the start of the pandemic, putting more pressure on the state's struggling health system. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)

Photo: AFP

The lockdown will lift when the state reaches its goal of having 70 per cent of those aged 16+ fully vaccinated.

Across the state, people will be allowed to have 10 visitors at their home each day, including dependents.

In metropolitan Melbourne, the curfew and the 15-kilometre travel radius will be lifted, but travel restrictions between Melbourne and regional Victoria will remain in place.

Child care will remain open to those already attending, as well as to the children of fully vaccinated adults. In Melbourne, most outdoor venues such as cafes, cinemas and pools, will be able to open to up to 50 people, subject to density limits.

Indoor venues such as cafes and restaurants will be able to open to 20 people, with density limits and as long as everyone is fully vaccinated.

In regional Victoria, most of which is already operating under eased restrictions, 30 fully vaccinated people will be allowed in indoor settings and up to 100 in outdoor settings.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the announcement marked the end of broad lockdowns.

"Today, we are moving beyond that," he said.

"So we're not locking people down anymore across the board.

"We are instead locking people out who have not got vaccinated to protect themselves and protect everybody else."

The new cases were detected from 73,501 tests and bring the total number of active cases to 23,376.

Victoria wasn't expected to reach its 70 per cent double-dose target until 26 October, but a surge in people getting their Covid vaccinations means it should be achieved by this Thursday.

Yesterday, Victoria's Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar expressed concern about a jump in the number of people hospitalised with Covid, with 798 people in that position.

A 15-year-old was among the seven Covid deaths recorded yesterday.

NSW cases

Meanwhile, NSW has recorded 301 new cases of locally acquired Covid-19, and 10 deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.

The new cases were detected from 69,107 test results received yesterday.

NSW Health said there are currently 619 people in hospital, with 137 in intensive care.

Close to 92 per cent of the population aged 16 and over have had one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The state yesterday reached the next milestone in the Covid-19 recovery roadmap, with 80 per cent of its eligible adult population fully inoculated against Covid-19.

NSW is the first Australian state to achieve this goal.

See where infections are rising fastest and how your neighbourhood compares.

Premier Dominic Perrottet made the announcement on Facebook, thanking healthcare professionals and the residents of NSW.

Under a further easing of restrictions, from Monday up to 20 fully vaccinated people will be able to gather in a home and groups of up to 50 outside.

Community sport is also set to resume but masks are still required in most indoor settings except offices.