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Victoria hits COVID-19 vaccination target as cases fall

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Victoria has reached its 80% full COVID-19 vaccination target and posted the lowest daily case tally in a month, as the state prepares to embrace quarantine-free international travel.

A further 1,036 locally acquired infections were recorded in Victoria on Sunday, along with 12 more virus-related deaths of people aged between 50 and 90.

Their deaths take the state’s toll from the current outbreak to 305 and 1122 since the start of the pandemic.

It is the state’s lowest daily case figure since September 29 albeit from 56,768 tests, more than 10,000 less than the previous day.

With almost 52,000 vaccine doses administered in state-run clinics, pharmacies and GPs on Saturday, 91.72% of Victoria’s 16-plus population has received at least one dose and 80.34% are fully vaccinated, meeting the roadmap vaccination target.

Mr Andrews commended Victorians for reaching the 80% double-dose target, a key marker in the state’s reopening roadmap despite restrictions easing two days earlier.

“At the start of this month only half of Victoria was fully vaccinated,” the premier wrote in a social media post.

“Thanks to Victorians coming forward in record breaking speed to get vaccinated, today we’ve reached 80%.”

The next roadmap landmark comes when 90% of Victorians 12 and over have received both vaccine doses, forecast on or around November 24, triggering an end to almost all COVID-19 restrictions across the state.

In more rule changes from Monday, fully vaccinated international travellers touching down in Victoria no longer need to quarantine and all school year levels across the state return to face-to-face learning.

Travel between Victoria, NSW and the ACT will also become unrestricted for the fully vaccinated.

It comes after trick-or-treaters were urged to stay outdoors and keep their distance to make sure Halloween didn’t lead to a COVID-19 nightmare.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton wanted parents and children planning to go house to house collecting lollies on Sunday to stick to the rules, especially since those under 12 aren’t yet eligible for a vaccine.

Trick-or-treaters were advised to stay outside and keep their distance, homes only offer individually wrapped lollies and parents encourage kids to clean their hands with sanitiser.

Any Halloween parties in homes over the weekend could not have more than 10 visitors, in line with the state’s current gathering restrictions.

Sunday marked the first day in months without Victorian officials fronting a daily COVID-19 media briefing, with key information and statistics issued instead through a media release.

There are 702 virus patients in hospital, 45 fewer than Saturday, pushing down the seven-day average to 757. Of those, 128 are in intensive care with 80 on a ventilator.

 

Original content from AAP Newsroom. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.

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