BASS Coast and East Gippsland will be included in the first “Vaccinated Economy” trials to be rolled out in 20 regional shires from Monday, October 11, for a 20 day period until the state reaches 70% fully vaccinated.

According to Martin Pakula, Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, those industry sectors to be included in the “double vax” trials, allowing fully vaccinated people to enjoy services that others can’t enjoy, will be hospitality, tourism venues, hair and beauty and also events including country race meetings, music events and the like.

It will allow venues to expand indoor dinning and attendance to 50 or 100 people but only if they are fully vaccinated.

Mr Pakula said the roll out would include training for operators and staff at these venues, testing how “Vaccinated Economy” practices will work, across the state, when more venues are opened to those who are fully vaccinated.

He said the state should be at 80% fully vaccinated by Melbourne Cup Day.

Premier Daniel Andrews underscored the significance of the trials and the introduction of a “Vaccinated Economy” as needed to get the state moving again as it reached high levels of vaccination

Bass Coast has been chosen for the trials because of its high vaccination percentage and ability to respond with testing, tracing and treatment.

In other news for regional Victoria, hospitality venues will be able to expand outdoor service from 20 seated at tables to 30.

Bass Coast tourist operators could be set to benefit from “double vax” entry trials starting on October 11.

CODID update

Here is the announcement at the daily COVID update by the Victorian Government on Sunday, September 26:

After another big week of vaccinations, Victoria is set to hit its first vaccination target on the Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan and a modest easing of restrictions will be able to occur this week.

Victoria’s Roadmap sets out a hopeful path to opening while also preserving our health system and ensuring Victorians can still get the healthcare they need when they need it most.

The Roadmap was developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds including hospitalisation rates, and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.

On Tuesday, Victoria will pass its first threshold on the Roadmap with 80 per cent of Victorians having received their first vaccine dose. Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that at 11.59pm on Tuesday 28 September there will be a modest easing to restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, in line with the Roadmap.

In regional Victoria, outdoor settings for restaurants and cafes will have their outdoor venue cap increase from 20 to 30 people.

Masks may be removed if the service requires it in hair and beauty salons, so facials and beard trimmings can recommence.

Residents of metropolitan Melbourne and regional areas in lockdown will be able to undertake ‘contactless’ recreation at outdoor facilities, such as boating, tennis or golf.

The 10km radius will also expand to 15km – so exercise and shopping can take place up to 15km from your home. Personal training will be able to take place with five fully vaccinated people outside plus a fully vaccinated trainer.

The additional restrictions on playgrounds will be lifted – normal public gathering limits apply, and masks can be removed to eat and drink at the playground. Separately, the Chief Health Officer has advised that the City of Greater Geelong and Surf Coast Shire can exit lockdown at 11:59pm tonight, 26 September – with public health teams confident that caseloads, which are largely contained to existing contacts, can be well managed by the local public health unit.

Mitchell Shire – with more than twice the number of active cases as Greater Geelong – will remain in lockdown due to its close proximity to areas of highest concern in metropolitan Melbourne.

The next milestones in the Roadmap will be when school begins to return to onsite learning on 5 October and when Victoria hits that 70 per cent double dose vaccination target – in late October.

It’s important to remember the more Victorians who get vaccinated, the sooner we will hit these targets, and the sooner we can all get back to the things we love. If you haven’t booked your appointment or are waiting for a particular vaccine – do not wait. The best vaccine is the vaccine you can get today.

Over the next week there are 3,495 Pfizer appointments available and 6,984 Astra Zeneca appointments available at state hubs. Victorians can also book a vaccine appointment through their trusted GP or community pharmacist by visiting www.health.gov.au – and it’s important to remember Victorian pharmacists are now also offering the Moderna vaccine, which is a safe and effective option for any Victorian under the age of 60. For more information call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

For more info on the Roadmap, or to book a vaccination, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.

“We’re about to hit our first stop on the Roadmap, which is a fantastic achievement – but we need to keep the momentum going. Today is the day to book that vaccine appointment,” said Premier Andrews.

“If you’ve been putting it off or waiting to get vaccinated, don’t wait any longer. The best vaccine is the vaccine you can get today and we need to get as many Victorians vaccinated as possible to get back to the things we love,” said Minister for Health Martin Foley.