Victoria's chief health officer 'open' to lifting home visits ban

By Emily Woods and Callum Godde
Victoria has recorded more than 2000 daily COVID-19 infections for the first time. (AAP)

Victoria's daily COVID-19 infections have hit another national record after the state reported 2297 new locally acquired cases and 11 deaths.

It is the first time daily cases have tipped over 2000 in any Australian state or territory, and marks a jump of more than 700 infections from the previous day's figure of 1571.

The state is now dealing with 20,505 active cases, while the additional deaths take the toll from the current outbreak to 125.

Burnet Institute modelling released in September had predicted Victoria would peak at between 1400 and 2900 daily cases between October 19 an 31.

There may be a second peak in December, the modelling found.

Victoria conducted 82,762 tests and 37,611 vaccinations in state-run hubs on Wednesday.

The record figures come as Victoria considers throwing off the shackles of Melbourne's COVID-19 lockdown before next weekend and possibly jettisoning a ban on home visits.

Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton will consider lifting a ban on home visits. (AAP)

The state is on track to reach its 70 per cent double vaccination target ahead of the indicative date of October 26, triggering the end of Melbourne's long-running sixth lockdown.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed a decision could be announced as early as this weekend based on vaccination projections and hospital case numbers.

Under the state's COVID-19 roadmap, home visits were set to be banned until 80 per cent of its 16-plus population received both vaccine doses.

But Professor Sutton is open to tweaking home gathering restrictions at 70 per cent.

"We've always said, if we can do more, we will do more," he told ABC Radio on Wednesday afternoon.

"We're acutely aware of home gatherings leading to spikes and that was definitely a feature of (the AFL) grand final. They were people that didn't normally come together."

Opposition leader Matthew Guy said the state government should use reaching the 70 per cent target "as a way to say thank you to people in Melbourne", suggesting opening retail shops, gyms and hospitality venues indoors.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.