Australia COVID LIVE updates: Cases grow across the nation as demonstrations poised to continue in Victoria

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Masks, house visit limits could remain in Victoria after 80 per cent double vaccinated

Masks and limits on household gatherings may remain in place to help reduce COVID-19 peaks after Victoria exits lockdowns, with the state government warning its road map isn’t a “set and forget” plan amid a surge in case numbers in countries with high-vaccination rates.

A week after promising most restrictions would be lifted once 80 per cent of the population is vaccinated, Health Minister Martin Foley said it would be “a challenge in Victoria” to keep case numbers down after the vaccination target was met, citing Singapore and South Korea as “comparable countries” facing similar challenges.

Victoria recorded a record-high 847 new cases on Saturday and one death, with health authorities worried illegal grand final celebrations could cause a sharp spike in coronavirus cases in the weeks ahead.

In Singapore, where about 80 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, limits on gatherings will be reintroduced and residents will return to working from home from Monday to try to slow the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases.

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NSW ministers eye 90 per cent vaccination coverage to lift restrictions on unjabbed

Sporting events, regional travel, pubs, restaurants and other functions will likely remain off limits to unvaccinated people until as many as 90 per cent of NSW adults are double jabbed, with crisis cabinet ministers poised to indefinitely limit their freedom.

The state government is due to finalise its road map for 80 per cent vaccination this week amid debate over when to reopen community activities to the unvaccinated.

Picnics are allowed in groups of five in Sydney.Credit:Rhett Wyman

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet argued last week NSW should “open up for everyone” once all adults had been given a chance to get the jab.

However, other ministers indicated resolve in cabinet had hardened against giving freedoms to the unvaccinated at the 80 per cent threshold. Instead, a saturation point of more than 90 per cent was being considered.

Read the full story here.

Good morning

Good morning and thanks for joining our live COVID-19 coverage today. I’m Pallavi Singhal.

Here are the top headlines from yesterday:

  • NSW recorded 1007 new local cases and 11 deaths, as parts of the state hit 13 weeks in lockdown.
  • Victoria recorded 847 new cases and one death, and Queensland recorded one new case.
  • Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination protesters gathering in Victoria on Saturday were dispersed by hundreds of police at the St Kilda foreshore. There were 94 arrests linked to the protests made in the Melbourne CBD and St Kilda on what was the sixth consecutive day of planned protests.
  • Large crowds at Manly and Bondi beaches in Sydney were dispersed by police on Saturday night, with three fines issued.
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