Victoria Covid update: restrictions for unvaccinated won’t ease until 2022, Daniel Andrews says

Daniel Andrews has warned unvaccinated Victorians could face restrictions well into next year as the state prepares to open up this weekend.

Unlike in NSW, unvaccinated Victorians would not be granted greater freedoms when the state hit its milestone 90% vaccination target.

When asked on Tuesday if the state would consider having greater freedoms for the unvaccinated, in a similar way to NSW, the Victorian premier said this would not be likely.

Restrictions for the unvaccinated in NSW are expected to ease on 1 December, bringing them into line with vaccinated people.

“That doesn’t make any sense to me in any event and we won’t be doing that here,” he said.

“Why would you get the system going, have the thing up and running and then essentially pull down all of the architecture that you’ve built, the culture that you’ve changed – why would you change that four or five weeks later?

“For example, the Grand Prix is in April, I don’t think there will be crowds at the Grand Prix made up of people who have not been double dosed.

Related: ‘Kicking us when we’re down’: Melbourne entertainment venues vexed by ‘typo’ in Covid roadmap

Andrews warned that unvaccinated Victorians thinking they could just “wait it out” would not be getting freedoms “well into 2022”.

“I’m not going to say to someone, just wait it out, just wait for five weeks and then you will be able to the pub,” Andrews said.

“I cannot put a day on it … it will not be when we reach 90%. It will not be anytime soon. That is going to function for a period of time, well into 2022.”

Andrews also said proof of vaccination would be required even when restrictions were completely removed.

Victoria is on track to hit the state’s 80% full Covid vaccination target in less than a fortnight, a week earlier than expected.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the news as the state recorded 1,749 new local Covid-19 cases and 11 deaths on Tuesday.

It comes as New South Wales recorded 273 Covid cases and four deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm Monday.

It is the second consecutive day of fewer than 300 cases. A total of 589 patients are in NSW hospitals with Covid and of those, 128 are in intensive care.

In Victoria, Andrews said the state was on track to reach its 70% vaccination rate before 11.59 Thursday when lockdown ends.

“We are well-placed to reach our target of 70% double dose and to open up,” Andrews said.

Victoria was expected to hit the 80% vaccination milestone on 5 November, but may now reach that within the next fortnight, he said.

“Beyond that, we remain on target and that 30th, 31st, around that time just before the Melbourne Cup, we are on track to be reaching that 80% double dose target and delivering all the roadmap promises at that point.”

Currently, there are 22,476 active cases and a total of 163 people have died from this outbreak in Victoria.

Seven hundred and eighty-four people are in hospital, with 149 in intensive care and, of those, 100 people are currently on a ventilator

On Monday state-run clinics administered 36,751 doses of vaccine, in addition to those given in GP clinics.

Related: Unvaccinated athletes unlikely to get visas to enter Australia, says Victorian premier

He also said vaccination requirements for large sporting events, such as the Australian Open, would be extended to players.

“I don’t think an unvaccinated tennis player is going to get a visa to come into this country. And if they did get a visa, they would probably have to quarantine for a couple of weeks,” he said.

Andrews also announced a $21m funding package to assist Victorians facing barriers to getting vaccinated.

The funding will be aimed at those with a disability, at-risk youth, seniors, social housing residents and culturally diverse or multi-faith communities.

“This funding will help to book appointments, promote existing transport operations or arrange alternatives when needed or to offer respite or occasional childcare in suburbs with low vaccine uptake,” he said.

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