Victoria to remain in lockdown until at least September 23

Lockdown will remain in place in Victoria until 70 per cent of residents are vaccinated, although regional areas could get out sooner and minor changes to restrictions will occur.

It's estimated the state will reach 70 per cent vaccination on September 23.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said playgrounds will reopen from September 2.

In home care will be expanded to school aged children if both parents are authorised workers.

Once the state reaches the 70 per cent target, the five kilometre limit will expand to 10 kilometres. The time allowed for exercise will be expanded to three hours a day and outdoor personal training will be allowed.

The news was slightly better for regional Victoria with the exception of Shepparton, which will be kept isolated, but the details on what rules would change were scant.

"We think we will be able to end the lockdown in the rest of regional Victoria next week," he said.

"Exactly when, we will confirm as soon as we can. The nature of that ending of the lockdown, so there will be an opening up, there will be significant, substantial restrictions on what can occur and of course no-one other than those who are authorised will be able to go to regional Victoria from metropolitan Melbourne."

Regional schools will have to wait until the regional announcement on easing next week to see if they can salvage something of Term three.

Mr Andrews also announced a blitz of vaccinations for Year 12 students in effort to get them back to school by Term 4.

For Melbourne schools the news about getting back into the classroom were not so good.

"Sadly I have to confirm for all Victorians that there will be no return to face-to-face learning for term three. Next week I will outline a detailed plan for what term four will look like."

He said advice came last last night from the public health team which they had to follow.

"We will not see these cases go down they're going to go up the question is by how many and how fast," he said.

Mr Andrews said the state must suppress cases until vaccination rates lift.

He said the state was in for a challenging time in coming weeks.

Mr Andrews said the latest lockdown has prevented 6000 cases.

"Over the past 72 hours, the advice from our public health team has been that we still had a promising chance to bring this under control," he said in a statement.

"We are charting out way out of this outbreak with easing at thresholds of lower cases.

"Last night, with cases already in triple figures, too many mystery cases and too many people infectious in out in the community, that advice has changed."


Despite the easing of restrictions, Melbourne's curfew will remain in place.

It comes despite the state recording the highest number of daily cases since August 2020.

Mr Andrews said there had been a dramatic shift in the nature and number of cases.

He said of the cases who had been fully interviewed only 20 were in isolation while infectious.

The origin of 56 cases remains under investigation.

There are 900 active cases in the state, five acquired overseas. 122 of those cases remain under investigation.

The large number of cases are in part due to the day 13 tests from Shepparton and the MyCare childcare cluster in Melbourne.

Ms Berejiklian remains hopeful internal borders will reopen when the country's vaccination hits 70 per cent.

"As confronting as this is, a lot of states who haven't had major outbreaks during the pandemic are going to have to appreciate once you get to 80 per cent double dose vaccination and you open your borders Delta will creep in," she said.

"But if your population is protected and you've got COVID-Safe plans in place, good QR code systems, good systems to monitor where the disease is circulating and warn residents, take immediate action to take care of outbreaks that may occur, that's the way we have to live with COVID

"As confronting as that is that is the reality. Every premier is signed up to the plan and I hope that we all stick to the plan."

Ms Berejiklian said Victoria was 'turning the corner' in how they deal with outbreaks and accepting what the Delta strain is like.

"I hope we're in a position at least where the two largest states are on the same page in terms of how we move our population forward," she said.

Ms Berejiklian said "if not at 80 per cent, then when?"

- with AAP

This story Regional Victorian lockdown could ease as soon as next week first appeared on The Border Mail.