Coronavirus in Victoria: 334 new COVID cases on first day of regional lockdown lift

Victoria has recorded 334 new local COVID-19 cases, as regional Victoria wakes to eased lockdown restrictions.

Of the 334 new cases, 149 have been linked, meaning 185 are currently classed as mystery cases.

There was also one death recorded, bringing the toll from the state's latest outbreak to four.

There were 39,027 vaccinations administered and 42,998 tests received on Tuesday.

The 334 new cases follows daily tallies of 221, 246, 246, 324 cases so far this week.

It's the highest daily caseload since August, 2020.

COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said the number of vaccinations was "encouraging".

 Victorian COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar.

Victorian COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar.

"We are ahead of our projection of our first million of our 1-million-dose surge that we announced a few weeks ago," he said.

"But also, we're starting to really get ahead of that date to get to 70% of Victorians having had their first dose. A bit more work to go, but we think we'll be well ahead of that original date of 23 September.

"We think we'll smash that by quite a few days. I'm also pleased to see that 71,000 people made vaccination bookings yesterday."

As of today, all of regional Victoria (except greater Shepparton) have tentatively exited lockdown.

While businesses can now reopen in regional Victoria, a number of strict rules applying to the hospitality industry make it unviable for many venues to open.

Retail businesses have been given a density limit of one person per four square metres, but hospitality venues are allowed a maximum of 10 people seated inside and 20 outside.

Schools can reopen from Friday for years prep to two and year 12, but all other students must continue their studies remotely.

Also coming into effect on Friday is a relief for some Victorians who have been stuck living in a NSW local government border area.

See where all the active cases are here

Victorians who have resided in those areas for at least 14 days, from Wednesday 25 August to Wednesday 8 September, will be able to apply for a new permit exemption category to come home.

Meanwhile, Premier Daniel Andrews says detailed modelling from the Burnett Institute will be released in the next week forecasting the Victorian outbreak's peak and how the healthcare system will respond.

He said there is an "enormous amount of work" being done to prepare the state's hospitals for a surge in cases.

Melbourne and Shepparton remain under lockdown, after the state recorded more than 300 cases on Thursday with 195 of those located in Melbourne's north.

The outbreak in the northern suburbs has led to calls from GPs, pharmacists and community leaders for a Pfizer vaccine blitz in the area, at more culturally appropriate sites.

This story Victoria tops 300 COVID cases on same day regional lockdown lifts first appeared on The Courier.