Covid-19 Victoria: Blow as masks and home visits rules set to stay in place ...

Covid-19 Victoria: Blow as masks and home visits rules set to stay in place ...
Covid-19 Victoria: Blow as masks and home visits rules set to stay in place ...

Victorians can expect face mask mandates and limits on home gatherings to be a part of daily life even after 80 per cent of the population are fully vaccinated, a health expert has warned.

The state confirmed a record-high 847 new Covid-19 cases and one death on Saturday.

Victoria's Health Minister Martin Foley said the state was unlikely to reach its 80 per cent single-dose target rate on Sunday as initially forecast, with the figure only sitting at 76.3 per cent.

Residents will instead have to wait until next week for a minor relaxation in Melbourne's lockdown that includes ending the ban on low-risk sports such as golf and tennis. 

Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said meanwhile strict restrictions may be needed even at an 80 per cent double-dose rate to prevent surging rates of transmission.

Victoria recorded 847 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, with the next set of restrictions to be eased a week later than planned after the state missed its vaccination deadline. Pictured are protesters marching at the 'Millions March for Freedom' rally on St Kilda Beach on Saturday

Victoria recorded 847 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, with the next set of restrictions to be eased a week later than planned after the state missed its vaccination deadline. Pictured are protesters marching at the 'Millions March for Freedom' rally on St Kilda Beach on Saturday

'The key is getting case numbers down before we ease restrictions and that's going to take some work,' she said, according to The Age.

'We know the virus will be in the community, the question is how much we can live with it?'

She said mask mandates indoors may still be enforced even at that threshold, while caps on gatherings in the home could be enforced and relaxed intermittently to stem outbreaks.

Mr Foley has hinted his government may take that approach, noting that Victoria's roadmap to freedom isn't a 'set and forget' plan. 

'It was always on the basis we would continue to review where cases were at,' he said. 

Melburnians who are fully vaccinated can gather in groups of up to five when Victoria reaches an 80 per cent single-dose rate and the city's travel limit will be expanded from 10km to 15km.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the initial roadmap target was 'ambitious' and he would consider a day-by-day 'countdown' for future 70 and 80 per cent double dose goals based on updated data.

Almost 77 per cent of Victorians have received at least one Covid-19 jab and about 47 per cent are fully vaccinated, according to recently released statistics from the state government. 

'We would expect

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