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Victoria cases rise as restrictions ease


Daily Covid-19 figures in Victoria have jumped by more than 200 infections, as the Prime Minister criticizes Prime Minister Scott Morrison for “talking twice to extremists”.

On the first day of State Living with New Freedoms, it reported eight deaths and 1,273 new viral infections, up from 1,007 the day before.

The health department confirmed on Friday that there are now 13,813 active cases in Victoria.

There are 330 patients infected with the virus in hospital, 57 of whom are actively infected with Covid-19 in intensive care, while 58 have been cured and 30 are on a ventilator.

Health officials say virus testers processed 73,020 results on Thursday and 5,842 people were vaccinated at state-run centers.

Victoria is now 88% doubly vaccinated in people over 12 years old.

Almost all remaining restrictions on coronaviruses were lifted just before midnight Friday, as the state moves closer to 90% full vaccination for people over 12 years old.

Double-dose Victorians can now dance in clubs, and home visitor limits and density caps on cafes, bars and restaurants have been dropped.

Freedom Day comes as the state government struggles to pass its pandemic legislation in the upper house after days of protests on the steps of parliament.

Right-wing extremists joined the protesters, who pulled out gallows and nooses and chanted that they wanted to “hang” and “kill” Prime Minister Daniel Andrews earlier this week.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday that if he had no tolerance for violent protesters it was time for state governments to step back and “Australians come back to life”.

Mr Andrews targeted the Prime Minister in televised interviews on Friday, saying he was sending conflicting messages to protesters.

“It’s taken too long for people to be honest. They’re sending mixed messages and it’s dangerous,” he told the Nine Network.

“I don’t want anyone, whether weak leaders or extremists, to hold back what the Victorians built and sacrificed.”

Asked about his relationship with Mr Morrison, the PM said: “It will be a lot better when he stops double-talking to extremists.”

But the Prime Minister doubled down on his comments on Friday, saying he sympathized with Australians “who have had a bunch of governments telling them what to do in the past two years.”

Meanwhile, issues around Victoria’s new restrictions are starting to emerge as health officials concede parents cannot add their children’s vaccination certificates to the Victoria Services app.

Retail, hospitality and non-essential events have resumed for all people over 12 years and two months of age who are fully vaccinated, unless they have a valid exemption.

However, only people over the age of 14 are allowed to create a Medicare account, which means children between 12 and 14 rely on their parents to prove their immunization status.

Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said the initial focus of building the Services Victoria app was on functionality, and parents will be able to add their dependents to the app “in a few weeks” .

“In the meantime, people can print out a digital certificate or vaccination history from their GP,” he told 3AW.

“It’s not like people can’t get around.”

Additionally, retailers caught off guard as a busy selling season approaches are calling for leniency in the enforcement of vaccine controls for customers.