On the eve of freedom day, Morrison congratulates Victoria

By Our Reporter
Prime Minister Scott Morrison. File pic

With Victoria reaching the 70 per cent double dose vaccination milestone and reopening of most of the state tomorrow, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has congratulated all Victorians for engaging in the “battle of our generation—beating COVID-19”.

“I want to thank each and every Victorian for the incredible job you’ve done. Again and again, Victorians have stepped up. Thank you to all Victorians who have had a double dose of a COVID-19 vaccine—and to those who have a first or second dose booked in,” the Prime Minister said.

Welcoming Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement to safely reopen as part of the National Plan, “bringing down state borders and bringing down the international border. Reuniting families and friends. Getting businesses going again. Firing up jobs.”

Morisson said he looked forward to the safe easing of more restrictions across Victoria as the vaccination rate continues to surge.

He further said, “Victorians have sacrificed so much over the course of extended lockdowns.Crucially, you’ve rolled up your sleeves, with a first dose vaccination rate of almost 90 per cent – that’s higher than the United Kingdom. If Victoria was a country it would be the 12th most vaccinated in the OECD on first doses.”

Having reached 70 per cent double dose—a critical early mark of the National Plan—means people are about to start reclaiming their lives, he said.

From Friday, there will be relaxations for the fully vaccinated at restaurants, cafes, cinemas, gyms, religious gatherings, weddings and funerals. And children will be heading back to school.

Next month, when the 80 per cent fully vaccinated target is met, Victorians will enjoy even more freedoms, Morrison said.

“And it’s been achieved by Victorians—and Australians and their governments from all states and territories—signing up to the National Plan. Working together.”

Morrison said the Federal Government rolled up its sleeves with significant vaccine supply and record economic support, providing Victorians with more than 10.8 million COVID-19 vaccines, including almost 685,000 doses that were brought forward to deal directly with outbreaks

“Our Government has provided Victorians with over $51 billion in economic support to date,  the highest per capita support of any state.

“Over $28 billion in JobKeeper Payments, over $5 billion in Coronavirus Supplement, and to combat the impact of Delta, over $3.7 billion in COVID-19 Disaster Payments and over $2.4 billion as our half of Business Support Payments.”

More than 33 million vaccines have now been administered around the country.

That’s over 85 per cent of eligible over 16s who have had a first dose and the 70 per cent double dose mark now also achieved nationally (70.01 per cent).

Australia’s double dose vaccination rate has surpassed the United States, and over the coming month is on track to overtake Israel, France and Germany.

As a result, freedoms are very close for every state or territory that has at some stage been subject to lockdown, or for those states locked in and wanting to see loved ones interstate, the Prime Minister said.

Planes are also ready for take off again, as the country prepares to reignite international travel and bring Australians home.

The Prime Minister has urged everyone to get their first and second jabs, if they haven’t already.

“We can’t be complacent. We still have to take one step at a time safely and ensure we always put that safety goal first as we reopen our country,” he said.

He also thanked the thousands of nurses, doctors, pharmacists and health care workers “who have cared for us, protected us and vaccinated us”.

Most importantly, he hopes everyone will play a part in making this Christmas the best ever.

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