The "vaccinated economy" starts on Friday: What are the rules?

Transition: Friday October 22 marks the point at which many aspects of everyday life will require at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Morgan Hancock.
Transition: Friday October 22 marks the point at which many aspects of everyday life will require at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: Morgan Hancock.

Friday (October 22) marks a watershed moment in the COVID-19 pandemic for Victorians as the state transitions to a "vaccinated economy".

From 11.59pm on Thursday, almost everyone going out to work, or to a bar, restaurant, cafe, gym, wedding or funeral will have to have had one - and in many cases, two - doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Essentially, to participate in society beyond this Thursday, Victorians over 15 will have to be vaccinated.

But what are the specific rules, and who needs one dose by Friday and who needs two?

New "freedoms"

The biggest restriction to go on Friday is the ban on household visitors, with Victorians able to have up to 10 people in their homes. Vaccination is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.

The household visitor rule was the most significant change to the state roadmap announced last Sunday as Daniel Andrews tried to appease lockdown-weary Victorians and deflect attention from the authorised worker vaccine mandate.

Some epidemiologists have raised concerns about the move, noting the virus has spread predominantly through household contact. Professor Tony Blakely from Melbourne University said allowing so many home visitors while cases were still near their peak could lay the groundwork for an explosion in cases by mid-December.

Regional Victorians will also be able to gather in groups of 20 outdoors, with vaccination again optional though highly recommended.

Hospitality venues can have 30 patrons inside and 100 more outside as long as they are all fully vaccinated, while hairdressers and beauty salons can also have 30 vaccinated customers indoors.

Who needs one dose?

Anybody whose vocation is listed as an authorised worker must have had their first jab by Friday if they want to work outside their home.

Who needs two doses?

Anybody who wants to visit a hospitality venue, go to the gym, get a haircut or have their nails done, or watch a live music or theatre performance or a film must be fully vaccinated.

From Friday anybody wanting to do any of these things - a more exhaustive list is available on the government roadmap - will have to show proof of vaccination either on their phone using the Service Victoria app, or with a physical copy of their vaccination certificate.

Mr Andrews has also said all hospitality workers also need to be fully vaccinated by Friday.

"I don't think that anyone would find fault with the logic that says if I must be double-dosed to sit down and order a beer or a glass of wine, then the person who serves me needs to be double-dosed as well," he said.

IN OTHER NEWS:

It is a line Mr Andrews has repeated for several weeks, however it was not made clear when the vaccination dates for authorised workers were announced that hospitality workers would be on a different schedule.

The Standard contacted the Department of Health to clarify whether the double dose requirement for hospitality workers also applied to other client-facing industries such as beauty or personal training, but did not receive a response by deadline.

Who doesn't need a dose?

There are still some activities and venues that don't require vaccination. General retail, betting venues and auction houses don't need any proof of vaccination.

Waiting it out

On Wednesday Victoria passed 70 per cent double dose for people over 15.

The coverage in regional Victoria is even higher, meaning the cohort who plan not to get vaccinated is very small, with some hoping to hold out until the state's stringent vaccine laws disappear. But Mr Andrews said the laws would be around for several months.

"This will be well into 2022.

"The virus will be here for a long time and your only protection against it as being vaccinated," he said.

"Please don't play that game of let's just wait it out and then we will be able to do everything we want to do and have not got jabbed.

"No, that will not be the case here and if you make that choice, it will be a very long wait and you won't out-wait this virus."

This story The Victorian 'vaccinated economy' starts today: What are the rules? first appeared on The Standard.