Victoria’s Vaccine Economy Launches Regional Passport Trial And Melbourne Cup Crowds

Bouncing back

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The Victorian government have ear marked their first crowded event, allowing up to 10,000 punters at Oaks Day on November 4.

Minister for Tourism, Sport & Major Events Martin Pakula on Sunday said the Melbourne Cup would work as a test run for the state’s reopening. 

“It is a vaccinated economy trial, it’s actually a very important thing for us to do,” Mr Pakula said. “This pandemic has now been running for over 18 months and I think that there is a powerful, powerful emotion and an urge in the community for us to get open.”

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Meanwhile, the Opposition has demanded health evidence confirming it will be safe for 10,000 people to be trackside at Flemington on cup day.

It's been green lighted as part of a state government's vaccinated economy trials where all attendees must be fully vaccinated.

Mr Pakula however, said there will always be critics, but this is part of a broader message.

"Whether it’s the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open, the Formula One next year, all of those things I think are a very powerful signal that we are bouncing back"

- Minister Pakula

New technology will also be trialed allowing a venue to check a patron's vaccination status before allowing them entry.

It comes as the state's vaccine passport trial kicks off on Monday in regional Victoria.

Conducted across 14 businesses in six LGAs, customers are required to provide proof of their vaccine status using the Service Victoria app on their smartphone.

Participating businesses including cinemas, hotels, and cafes, as well as a gym, church and a beauty clinic are located on the Bass Coast, in Warrnambool, Buloke Shire, Greater Bendigo, the Pyrenees and East Gippsland.

Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said these trials will tests smaller localised transmissions.

“These trials aren’t about saying ‘we had one person pass the virus on, we can’t open cafes’,” she said. “It’s about saying what is the risk of opening cafes if one person is positive, but most people are vaccinated, what does that look like?

“Can we just let that run and not worry about that, unless we see a cluster of transmission, or it’s in the part of the community with low vaccination rates"

- Prof Bennett

Pending the outcomes, a second phase of trials will be rolled out with 80 per cent double dose settings prior to Victoria achieving that milestone.


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10 October 2021

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