Melbourne Covid lockdown: Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg calls for reopening



Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has urged the Andrews government to put Victoria back “on the fast lane” on reopening, after the state recorded 1,993 new cases and seven deaths from Covid in the past 24 hours.

Victoria recorded 1,993 new cases and seven deaths from Covid in the past 24 hours.

The state now hosts 21,647 active infections and 79,214 tests have been received.

A total of 40,386 vaccines were administered in Victoria.

In addition, 63 percent of the state’s population aged 16 and over have been fully immunized, nearly hitting its target of 70 percent to start easing restrictions.

It comes as Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg urged the Andrews government to put Victoria back “in the fast lane” after New South Wales announced on Friday it would open its borders to the world from next month.

As Victoria underwent her 257th day in lockdown on Friday, Sydney residents enjoyed an evening at pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Earlier, NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet announced that stranded Australians could finally return home from November 1, with his government removing the two-week quarantine warrant for all international arrivals.

“There is absolutely no reason, if you are fully vaccinated, whether you are a returning Australian or a tourist, that you should be quarantined at the hotel,” Mr Perrottet said.

“It will be a godsend for most of the people who come home and it will be a godsend for our tourism industry. We cannot live here in a hermit kingdom.

Mr Frydenberg told the Saturday Herald Sun Melbourne has gone from being the most livable city in the world to the most locked in.

“Victoria is late,” he said.

“After everything the Victorians have endured in the past year and a half, there is no time to waste. “The great state of Victoria must be allowed to shift gears and get back on the fast lane. “The rest of the world has opened up and isn’t looking back and neither are we.”

The NSW government’s decision could mean Victorians trapped overseas could return home, via Sydney, without the need for quarantine.

The state government of Victoria on Friday announced its “most significant” overhaul of the travel permit system this year.

Victoria will ease her hard border with NSW from October 20, meaning fully vaccinated people in red zones – including non-Victorian residents – could enter the state without needing to do a 14-day quarantine.

Despite the border change, the Victoria area will still remain closed to Melburnians, as metro residents will be subject to the 15 km travel limit.

Confusion reigned Friday night over who could enter the state, with any arrival subject to Victoria’s strict restrictions.

Mr Foley denounced reporters at Friday’s press conference for repeated questions about the perceived divide between states.

“I think everyone just needs to take a cold pill,” Foley retorted.

“We do not know all the details of a press release fresh from the NSW government printer.”

The federal government said on Friday it would not begin issuing visas to tourists while there were still thousands of Australian citizens and permanent residents stranded abroad.

Scott Morrison has confirmed that Australians will be free to travel abroad from November 1.

But the Prime Minister moved quickly to make it clear that he would prioritize the repatriation of Australian citizens and permanent residents before considering the return of migrants, temporary workers and students.

Tourists will be the last category to see the restrictions lifted, but senior government sources have said they expect them too to start arriving before Christmas.

Qantas will also bring forward its resumption of international flights from Sydney by two weeks, in accordance with the reopening of borders.

The national carrier will operate five return flights per week from Sydney to London and up to four return flights per week from Sydney to Los Angeles starting early next month.

It comes as NSW is set to unveil more freedoms from Monday, when 80% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.

This would unlock many more freedoms than those given to Victorian residents at the same stage, prompting Victorian business leaders to call for a realignment of roadmaps.

Senior sources in the Victoria state government told the Saturday Herald Sun that there was now concerted pressure from some Cabinet ministers to speed up the state’s easing of restrictions.

It is understood that there are growing concerns about Victoria’s need to correspond with NSW due to a widening gap between states in key sectors.

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association CEO Wes Lambert said: “It is unfortunate that the Victorian roadmap for reopening diverges so drastically from the NSW roadmap.”

Victorian Tourism Industry Council chief executive Felicia Mariani said footfall caps and density quotients in Victoria “severely hamper” the ability of businesses to operate.

“At the 70% and 80% thresholds, we need to be consistent with how our businesses are opening up and give our operators a chance to fight,” she said.

Small Business Australia chief Bill Lang said the time to “curl up in front of Covid is over.”

“It’s time to let the restrictions reign instead – until then, Mr Foley, you should note that the people of Victoria have no interest in taking your ‘chill pill’ or whatever.” ‘other.

other that delays the opening of this state, ”he declared.

Victoria recorded 2,179 new local cases and six more deaths on Friday.

BUS ROUTES CUT AFTER COVID CASES

Several Melbourne bus lines will be cut on Saturday after seven Transdev employees tested positive for the coronavirus.

In a statement, the transport ministry said that “a number of Transdev drivers are required to self-isolate to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.”

There will be cancellations in the morning on bus lines 270, 905, 906, 907 and 908.

Line 903 will also experience “a significant number of cancellations” during the afternoon peak periods.

Other services – including routes from Sunshine Station to City, Somerville Rd to Highpoint Mall and the Sunshine South Loop will also operate at reduced times.

Anyone taking public transport this weekend has been told to check PTV’s website to see if their service has been affected.



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