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Victoria to monitor NSW reopening plans

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By Andrew Brown in Canberra
Source: AAP

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says NSW’s transition out of COVID-19 restrictions would be closely monitored before any further changes to the state’s lockdown measures would be made.

While NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian unveiled a detailed roadmap out of lockdown for her state on Monday, Mr Andrews said Victoria would be able to learn from the experience north of the border.

“New South Wales are out in front of us because they were given additional vaccine supply, we don’t begrudge them that,” he told ABC TV on Tuesday.

“It means we’ll be able to watch on and see exactly how this unfolds, particularly from a health system point of view.”

Victoria is on track to reach the vaccine milestone on Tuesday of 80 per cent of over-16s receiving their first dose.

The state is set to end its lockdown once double dosed rates reach 70 per cent.

Mr Andrews said further detail would be provided in coming weeks of how restrictions would ease once the 80 per cent target is reach, but warned of impacts for the health system.

“It will be very tough in the weeks and months ahead, we need to protect our ICU capacity,” he said.

“We’ll continue to see more people in hospital, but less than would otherwise be the case.”

Meanwhile, Ms Berejiklian said she was comfortable with NSW taking the lead for how large states reopened following a Delta outbreak and lockdown.

“This is about living with the Delta virus. It’s about going back to a normal life with the Delta variant,” she said.

“We believe the three-stage reopening we’ve outlined is the best way to deal with it.”

NSW is set to emerge from its four-month lockdown on October 11, coinciding with a 70 per cent double dose rate in the state, with further easing on October 25 when an 80 per cent target is reached.

Meanwhile, other states with hard borders such as Queensland and Western Australia, have not indicated when borders would be able to reopen to virus-affected states.

Queensland Health announced on Monday night that an aviation industry worker had tested positive for virus, sparking a public health alert for four venues in the city’s north and south.

Further details are expected to be outlined on Tuesday.

Ms Berejiklian told ABC TV she hoped interstate travel would be able to resume once key vaccine targets were met across the country.

“I don’t want to be in a position where I can go overseas but I can’t go to other states in Australia,” she said.

“It’s been two years since people have seen each other. It’s a long time and it’s about time as Australians we are able to move freely within our own country.”

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