Eager to get out of lockdown?
Victoria is leading the way for Australia to jumpstart business activity once again: the state government is providing a test case for what officials call a ‘vaccinated economy’.
The arrangement allows residents to enjoy some degree of liberty amid stringent COVID-19 measures. However, the re-opening will be gradual.
By 11 October, the government will test different programs to let customers visit establishments and take part in social events. The caveat? Individuals participating in the pilot program must first be fully vaccinated.
Officials are hopeful Victoria is on track to fully immunise 70% of the population aged 16+ even before October ends. However, the pilot will be rolled out only in select local government areas where there are high vaccination rates and lower COVID case counts. These LGAs include Buloke, Pyrenees, Bass Coast, Greater Bendigo, East Gippsland and Warrnambool.
The conditions in these areas make them “perfect for these trials,” said Industry Recovery Minister Martin Pakula, who announced details of the initiative.
Among the sectors and social activities covered by the ‘vaccinated economy’ trials are beauty services, hospitality and tourism, concert and racing events, and community gatherings.
“It is about seeing how our vaccinated economy system might work, and we will trial that with higher patron numbers and crowds with everyone on site being confirmed as fully vaccinated,” Pakula said.
The government will also use the program to test its own tools for monitoring vaccinated individuals who will be going out in public.
“We need these trials to ensure that we understand all of the potential issues that might arise,” Pakula said. “We are confident that the services Victoria app will have access to the vaccination data by 11 October, but we're saying it certainly within October.”
Victorians participating in the pilot will only need their smartphone to show their vaccination status.