The Melbourne Cup appears to be the line in the sand for Victoria to end its lockdown as the state laid out its road map.
The Melbourne Cup could be the day that restarts a nation as Victoria revealed the event could be one of the first major events with vaccinated crowds after revealing the state’s road map out of lockdown.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed on Sunday that 80 per cent of the state’s 16-year plus population will be vaccinated before Cup Day on November 2, the magic number to end lockdown in the state.
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Andrews revealed that it would still likely be six weeks before the state is reopened, aiming to coincide with “the race that stops a nation”.
“I want to get to 80 per cent by Melbourne Cup day,” Mr Andrews said.
“It is the race that stops the nation. I want it to be held in as normal circumstances as possible. But 80 per cent is the marker that opens our state.
“We may well be out there and link the two a lot. I can’t say there will be crowds there. We are working with all sorts of different partners on all sorts of different things.
“70 per cent and 80 per cent are incredibly important markers. We can’t be certain when are going to meet them.
“It would be great to think we could get it done before then and perhaps we can have a crowd of double vaccinated people. But it’s too early for us to say that today.
“If we deliver 80 by Cup Day or its really clear we are going to. Then we will have options to have a crowd there. I can’t say how big or all of that.
“It would be a great signal to the world, the rest of the country, that Victoria is open, we are back in the leading role. The major events capital, the sporting capital, racing capital for those that are taken by the sport of kings.”
Victorian Labor MP and Minister for Tourism, Sport, Major Events & Racing Martin Pakula took to Twitter to reveal that the government would be working with the Victoria Racing Club about having a crowd.
The VRC announced last week that they would be one of the first sports in the world to mandate vaccinations for all participants.
“The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) acknowledges Racing Victoria’s announcement last night that all licensed and registered racing industry participants will be required to be vaccinated against Covid as a condition of entry to all designated licensed premises in Victoria, which includes racing operations areas at Flemington Racecourse on race days,” VRC CEO Steve Rosich said. “This is an important announcement that aims to provide the safest possible working environment for all industry participants and protect our sport to ensure it can continue.”
It comes as the Victorian government laid out its road map out of lockdown with milestones at 80 per cent single dose (expected to be September 26), 70 per cent double vaccination (expected to be October 5), 80 per cent over 16-year-olds (November 5) and 80 per cent of over 12-year-olds (November 19).
But it’s the 80 per cent over 16-years mark that would be the key reopening milestone with all retail open and many restrictions eased.
The milestone would see masks only required indoors and all Victorians will be able to travel within the state.
People would be allowed up to 10 others at their house and the vaccinated would be able to gather outdoors in groups of 30, while those avoiding the jab would be restricted to groups of five.
All students will return to school, adult education will return for fully vaccinated Victorians, and early childhood education and care will open to all.
Big outdoor entertainment and sporting venues can reopen with either 5000 attendees or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is lesser. Indoors, it will be capped at 150 vaccinated attendees.
The Premier also targeted a three-month plan with 80 per cent of all people over 12 years of age to be vaccinated which would allow Christmas events with 30 people but highlighted modelling that said that modelling forecast 2200 cumulative deaths by mid-January.
— with NCA Newswire