The Victorian Government is conducting trials on hospitality businesses in highly vaccinated areas of regional Victoria to help the state progressively open as the double-dose target is met.
The trials will see higher numbers of fully vaccinated patrons allowed into hospitality venues, with the state government stating that up to 20 vaccinated economy trials will be deployed to test this new system.
“These trials are an important step as we move towards a vaccinated economy, supporting businesses to open safely and recover strongly and individuals to play their very important part,” says Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria.
These trials are starting on 11 October, two weeks before the Victoria Government predicts the state will reach its 70 per cent full vaccination mark on 26 October. Once this target is reached, greater freedoms will be allowed for vaccinated people.
The trials will provide insight into the best processes for establishing vaccination status, with work already underway to integrate Commonwealth vaccination data with the Service Victoria app.
“We’re working with the Commonwealth to make sure the technology and systems that will underpin the vaccinated economy are effective and easy to use,” says Danny Pearson, Minister for Government Services.
“The Service Victoria app will be the most convenient way for most people to prove their vaccination status and participate fully in the community.”
The triils will be the basis for systems and technologies that will be used in large metropolitan Melbourne events with larger crowds.
As part of the trials, staff training and support for business owners will be provided alongside public communication on vaccine requirements. The state government says support officers will also be deployed on the ground to ensure the trails run smoothly, and each participating business receives the needed assistance.
Other businesses such as hairdressing, beauty services, tourism businesses, and events, such as race meetings, community celebrations and concerts, will also be part of the trial.
“Businesses and events are on the front line of this vital campaign to keep Victorians safe and our economy recovering strongly,” says Martin Pakula, Minister for Industry Support and Recovery.
“We’ll do the work on these trials and provide businesses with the support they need to maintain and build on the gains that continue to be enabled by vaccination.”
These first regional areas to be invited to participate in the trials include the Bass Coast, Greater Bendigo, Pyrenees, Warrnambool, Buloke, and East Gippsland municipalities. These areas all have high vaccination rates and low to no COVID-19 cases.
The Victorian Government says it will work with local councils and industry bodies to identify suitable businesses and events for the trial.
Depending on the outcomes of this first phase of trials, a second phase of trials is estimated to be rolled out before Victoria reaches its 80 per cent double dose target. The progress of these trials will be subject to health advice and ensuring the safety of regional communities from any potential COVID-19 infections.
As per Victoria’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan, greater freedoms will be given once the vaccination thresholds of 70 to 80 per cent double doses are reached.
Once 70 per cent double dose vaccination I reached, the patron cap will increase to 30 people for indoor spaces and 100 people for outdoor spaces for regional cafes and restaurants. This is on the basis that all patrons and staff are fully vaccinated. Without confirmation of vaccination status, there is no change to existing settings says the state government.
For more information on Victoria’s roadmap to reopening, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au.