Flurry of changes to COVID restrictions as Victoria poised to reach 70 per cent first-dose target

Victoria recorded its highest daily figure of the current Delta outbreak, with 514 new, locally-acquired COVID cases added to the tally on Thursday.

Three of those cases were in Ballarat, including a mystery case. It takes the total active case number there to six, with more expected in coming days.

An additional 10,000 doses of vaccine will be fast-tracked to the area.

There are now 4370 active COVID cases across Victoria.

With the exception of Ballarat, from 11.59pm tomorrow night, gyms and outdoor and indoor pools can reopen.

It comes as 41,758 jabs were administered yesterday, with 69.2 per cent of Victorians having received their first dose of a vaccine. It's expected the 70 per cent mark will be reached throughout the course of today.

As a result, Premier Daniel Andrews also announced a series of "moderate" steps out of lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne.


From midnight Friday night, Melburnians will also be able to leave their homes for an additional, social reason.

Two people from two different households will be able to meet outdoors, with groups of five allowed to gather if they are fully vaccinated.

Outdoor gyms and skate parks will reopen.

The two-hour time limit for exercise will expand to four, and the five kilometre limit will double to 10.

Real-estate inspections will be given the green light, by appointment.

Child minding for school-aged children will return for households with one authorised worker.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Mr Andrews said the steps were "modest."

"This is what Victorians have craved for a long time," he said.

"We're pleased to be able to take these modest but I think significant steps to provide this outdoor social action. It needs to be done safely. It needs to be done carefully but these are important steps for us to take today."

It comes as Victoria recorded a large spike in COVID cases, with only 148 linked to known outbreaks.

There are now 182 Victorians in hospital, 51 in intensive care, and 29 on a ventilator. Of those cases, 87 per cent were not vaccinated, 12 per cent were partially vaccinated and one person was fully vaccinated.

There were 61,961 test results received overnight, with most processed within 24 hours.

Not all changes were positive, with construction workers given a deadline of 11:59pm on September 23 to have received their first-dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.

Construction workers will also not be allowed to travel from metropolitan Melbourne to regional Victoria.

Mr Andrews said there would be "no debates" about incoming requirements for construction-site workers.

"Basically, construction workers have a week to get - if they've not already got a first dose to go and get a first dose of any of the vaccines that are available and they will need to demonstrate to their employer that they have done that," he said.

"We have seen too many cases in construction, vax nation first dose helps, second dose is obviously better but in order to strike that balance and have maximum protection but at the same time keep that industry jog and all those jobs and livelihoods trying to protect them as best we can, first dose by next Thursday is mandatory. That is required. No debates entered into."

This story Premier bans travelling tradies as Victoria nears 70 per cent mark first appeared on Bendigo Advertiser.