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Victoria turns its back on Covid zero policy in favour of boosting the state’s vaccination rates

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Victoria turns its back on Covid zero policy in favor of raising state vaccination rates to protect the community as playgrounds prepare to reopen TODAY

  • The Delta variant of Covid has shredded the script in Victoria as cases mount
  • State focus is on vaccinations, with strict limits to 70% target
  • Playgrounds reopen for children aged 12 and under with QR check-ins










The Delta variant of Covid-19 has torn the script in Victoria as health authorities brace for the number of cases to continue to rise.

Victoria has turned its back on Covid zero in favor of vaccinations, with strict restrictions on staying until at least 70 percent of eligible Victorians have been fully vaccinated.

From Friday there will be some postponement, including the reopening of playgrounds for children aged 12 and under, with certain rules such as QR code check-ins and masks for their only permitted companion.

Health Secretary Martin Foley said research from the Burnet Institute had suggested the state lockdown had prevented an additional 6,000 cases in the past month, but now was the time to change.

Of the 176 new cases on Thursday, 67 were in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, 61 in the west, 22 in the east and south and 13 in the regional city of Shepparton.

“This virus is here now, and it’s spreading fast,” Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie told reporters.

“The rising numbers of cases are a harbinger of what our health system will face in the coming weeks and months.”

More than 3,000 people were tested on Thursday as part of the Day 13 test in Shepparton, which could further increase the number of cases on Friday.

From Friday there will be some postponement, including the reopening of playgrounds for children aged 12 and under, with certain rules such as QR code check-ins and masks for their only permitted companion

From Friday there will be some postponement, including the reopening of playgrounds for children aged 12 and under, with certain rules such as QR code check-ins and masks for their only permitted companion

Health Secretary Martin Foley said research from the Burnet Institute had suggested the state lockdown had prevented an additional 6,000 cases in the past month, but now was the time to change.

‘You have to follow the advice of science. Delta changed the script,” he said.

To help Victoria ramp up vaccinations, the interval between doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been halved to six weeks.

The move, effective immediately, will make the waiting time between AstraZeneca doses the same as it was for Pfizer and will help the state reach its 80 percent double dose target more quickly.

While clinical trials have shown AstraZeneca to be most effective with a second 12-week dose interval, Prof. Cowie said the condition had to strike a balance between long-term efficacy and increasing protection against the Delta variant.

The move, effective immediately, will make the waiting time between AstraZeneca doses the same as it was for Pfizer and will help the state reach its 80 percent double dose goal faster

The move, effective immediately, will make the waiting time between AstraZeneca doses the same as it was for Pfizer and will help the state reach its 80 percent double dose goal faster

The government of Victoria announced a tightening of border restrictions late Thursday, including a ban on crossing to use physical recreation facilities.

The number of communities in the border bubble has also been reduced with Greater Bendigo, Greater Shepparton, City of Benalla, Buloke, Loddon, Yarriamback and two NSW LGAs, Broken Hill and Edward River, no longer defined as cross-border communities.

The list of specified workers has also been shortened and the testing obligations for those holding a specified worker’s permit have been expanded.

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