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Victoria ends lockdown five days early

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By Melissa Meehan in Melbourne
Source: AAP

Haircuts as well as a parma and pot are finally back on the menu for fully vaccinated Victorians.

The state’s long-suffering citizens breathed a sigh of relief as Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday the state will end its sixth long-running lockdown five days earlier than planned.

The race to get vaccinated has cemented the state’s early reopening from 11.59pm on Thursday, which will see the end of lockdown, restrictions on leaving home and the controversial 9pm curfew.

“It has been a stunning effort and I think Victorians should be proud, but we do have to finish this off,” Mr Andrews told reporters on Sunday.

Large-scale construction sites can also increase to 100 per cent capacity but only if all workers are fully vaccinated.

Those living in metropolitan Melbourne will still be banned from visiting regional Victoria in a bid to limit the spread of the virus.

Under the state’s roadmap, the city’s current lockdown – which has run for 74 days – was due to end on October 26, the predicted date by when 70 per cent of those aged 16 and over would be doubled-dosed.

Restrictions will ease further when 80 per cent of the eligible population has received both vaccine doses, originally projected to be November 5.

Victoria announced 1838 new local COVID-19 cases and seven deaths on Sunday.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said a third of those cases were from southeast Melbourne, with the City of Casey recording 251 new infections.

“Vaccination rates are increasing significantly there (City of Casey) but from a low base, that is why that vulnerability is reflected in the numbers,” he said.

Mr Andrews said it was important to note that 90 per cent of those in hospital, and 97 per cent of those in intensive care, were not fully vaccinated.

“They are not numbers, they are people that are very, very unwell. Some of whom are gravely unwell, gasping for air, they are not vaccinated, not fully vaccinated, almost all of them,” he said.

“So there is every reason – every reason – to get vaccinated like so many Victorians already have.”

Roadmap out of lockdown from 22 October for metropolitan Melbourne:

* Reasons to leave home and curfew no longer in place

* 10 people including dependants can visit a home each day

* 15 people can gather outdoors

* Pubs, clubs and entertainment venues can open to 20 fully vaccinated people indoors and 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors

* Funerals and weddings allowed for 20 fully vaccinated indoors and 50 fully vaccinated outdoors

* All students to return to school at least part time

* Hairdressing and beauty salons to open for upto five fully vaccinated people at a time.

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