Covid restrictions ease Friday

Jeroen Weimar, right, with team leader Cherith at the Casey Fields pop-up vaccination clinic. 254247_02 Picture: DANIELLE KUTCHEL

By Cam Lucadou-Wells and Danielle Kutchel

Melbourne’s hard lockdown is set to ease from midnight on Thursday 21 October due to Victoria nearing a 70 per cent double-vaccination rate.

However, health authorities are targeting 11 South East postcodes to lift vaccination rates as Covid cases continue to soar in Greater Dandenong and Casey.

Under eased restrictions, up to 10 people can visit homes per day, and the curfew and 15-kilometre travel restriction will be scrapped.

For local residents, travel is still limited within metropolitan Melbourne.

Indoor gatherings such as weddings, funerals and cafes are re-opened for fully-vaccinated people only.

Outdoor settings such as cafes, cinemas and pools re-open also for just the fully vaccinated.

Masks will be still required indoors and outdoors.

Further restrictions will be eased when 80 per cent of Victorians 16-and-over are expected to be fully vaccinated by the first week of November.

On 16 October, the South East recorded 612 new cases – 251 in Casey and 145 in Greater Dandenong.

Postcode hotspots were Cranbourne (597 active cases), Dandenong (547), Hampton Park (222), Keysborough (156), Doveton (155), Endeavour Hills (147) and Hallam (144).

At a Casey Fields pop-up vax clinic on 16 October, Victoria’s Covid Commander Jeroen Weimar said there had been “significant growth” in cases across Hampton Park, Cranbourne North, Clyde and Narre Warren, as well as Dandenong, Keysborough, Noble Park, Frankston and Cardinia.

Household-to-household contact was driving transmission.

He urged those who were not yet vaccinated to “please get that done”.

“Here in the South East, the second dose vaccination rate is rising steeply; we’re focusing on the remaining parts of the community where more work needs to be done.”