New Vic COVID-19 cases climb past 550, one death

New Vic cases climb past 550, one death

Victoria has recorded its highest number of COVID-19 cases in the current outbreak and one death, as Ballarat waits for news on the potential ending of its lockdown.

The health department on Monday confirmed 567 new local cases were reported in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of active cases to 5675.

The death brings the toll from the current outbreak to 12.

In the 24 hours to Monday, 50,915 tests were processed and a record 39,939 Victorians received a vaccine dose at state-run hubs.

Ballarat, which returned to lockdown last week, recorded five new COVID cases in the 24 hours to midnight on Sunday.

Of the five cases, four are from one household linked to a construction worker and the fifth is a close contact of a case in Melbourne.

COVID Commander Jeroen Weimar said the fact all five cases were linked was a promising sign for Ballarat.

It is the biggest daily tally in Ballarat since the outbreak began last week.

"There is no undue concern around the cases in Ballarat," he said.

In total there are 14 cases in regional Victoria: five in Ballarat, three in Mitchell Shire, two in Moorabool, one in Mount Alexander, one in Moira, one in South Gippsland and one in Macedon Ranges.

See where all the active cases are here

Meanwhile, Victoria's roadmap out of lockdown has been described as a "roadblock" by business groups, who say it is too conservative when compared with NSW's.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday unveiled the state's roadmap out of lockdown.

It details some small changes to Melbourne's restrictions when 80 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 have received a single vaccine dose, including an increase of the 10-kilometre travel limit to 15km.

But lockdown will remain in place until 70 per cent of Victorians are double vaccinated, which is forecast for October 26.

At that stage, the city's curfew will be lifted, the travel limit will increase to 25km and hospitality can open outdoors with a limit of 50 fully vaccinated people.

Fully vaccinated people will also be able to get a haircut and gather outdoors in groups of 10.

Once Victoria reaches its 80 per cent double-dose target, forecast for November 5, the travel limit is scrapped altogether, retail, gyms and beauty services can reopen for the fully vaccinated and hospitality can resume indoors.

Home gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed, while at Christmas the figure is expected to increase to 30.

The reopening of schools will not be tied to vaccination coverage, with Year 12 students going back to class on October 6 and a staggered return of other years starting with Prep to Grade 2s on October 18.

Mr Andrews said the plan was "cautious" and would prevent the state's hospital system from being overrun.

But the opposition and business groups have described it as conservative, given Sydney is on track to enjoy far more freedoms about a fortnight earlier than Melbourne, despite having recorded more COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths.

"Victorian businesses wanted a pathway to prosperity, but instead we got a roadmap with roadblocks," Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Paul Guerra said in a statement.

"It is extremely tough to look over the border and see our NSW neighbours get back to relatively normal life while we continue to be locked down in a holding pattern."

The Australian Hotels Association Victorian president David Canny said he was "gutted" and called for consistency between states.

The Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra said the road map was "disappointing" and would cost the industry $6 billion.

Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast and Mitchell Shire also entered a seven-day lockdown due to a rise in infections.

This story New Vic cases climb past 550, one death first appeared on The Courier.