VICTORIAN COVID UPDATE | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21
NEW CASES: 2232 (up from 1841 yesterday)
DEATHS: 12 (same as yesterday, total from outbreak is 187)
Victoria has recorded 2232 new COVID cases on the state's final day of lockdown.
It is the second-highest daily figure in Victoria, just shy of the 2293 cases recorded on October 13.
With the easing of restrictions less as of 11.59pm on Thursday, there are still 22,889 active cases in the state.
There was also 12 deaths recorded yesterday.
The new deaths take the toll from the current outbreak to 187.
There were 79,544 tests returned.
Further information about the deaths and new cases will be released later on Wednesday.
Reported yesterday: 1,841 new local cases and 1 case acquired overseas (currently in HQ).— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) October 19, 2021
- 38,881 vaccines administered
- 78,928 test results received
- Sadly, 12 people with COVID-19 have died
More later: https://t.co/OCCFTAchah#COVID19Vic#COVID19VicDatapic.twitter.com/fHFgWqkYZc
In Western Victoria, there were two new COVID cases confirmed on Tuesday in Ballarat, as the city showed further promising signs of preventing significant spread of the virus.
The number of active cases also continued to drop.
As of yesterday there were 56 active cases in Ballarat, down from a peak of 74 just four days ago.
There has not be a new Ballarat exposure site added this week.
Meanwhile, Victoria has passed its 70 per cent full COVID-19 vaccination target on the last day of Melbourne's long-running sixth lockdown.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed 70.51 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have now received both doses, a key reopening milestone in the state's roadmap.
The state government had already pledged Melbourne would emerge from lockdown at 11.59pm on Thursday, five days earlier than planned.
"The longest road has been journeyed in Victoria and that long road really starts to open up tonight," Mr Morrison told Seven Network on Thursday.
"But as always, all states and territories, are coming from a different starting point. They'll all cautiously find their way back. This is not a big opening in that first step."
When stay-at-home orders are wound back, Melburnians will have endured 77 full days in their current lockdown and 263 total days since the beginning of the pandemic - a record for any city across the globe.
Under the new rules, people will be able to leave their homes for any reason and travel anywhere within metropolitan Melbourne.
The curfew will be scrapped, home gatherings of up to 10 will be allowed, and hairdressers and hospitality businesses will reopen for the fully vaccinated.
However, in a last-minute change to reopening plans, all hospitality staff must be fully vaccinated to work.
This is despite online health directions stating authorised workers, including those in hospitality, must have had one vaccine dose by October 22 and a second by November 26.
Australian Hotels Association Victoria chief executive Paddy O'Sullivan said the government had "moved the goalposts" on the sector and has asked for a grace period to allow staff time to get vaccinated.
But Victoria's COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said "there is no wriggle room" on the mandate.
With some pubs in the city to reopen at midnight, staff at hospitality venues will be allowed to go into work after the curfew kicks in at 9pm to get their venues ready, but patrons will need to wait until 11:59pm to leave home.