Coronavirus Melbourne: International flights land as Victoria registers 1,471 new cases, four deaths

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The first international flight landed in Melbourne on the return trip from overseas travel. It comes as Victoria recorded 1,471 new cases and four deaths overnight.

Passengers from Singapore landed at Melbourne airport this morning as the quarantine is lifted for returning Australians fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The flight was followed by another from Hong Kong at noon, carrying many more passengers.

It comes as Victoria recorded 1,471 new cases and four deaths overnight, as the state returns to a sense of normalcy.

A total of 46,065 tests were recorded, 699 people are hospitalized and 136 in intensive care.

91.7% of Victorians have received their first dose and 80.3% are fully immunized.

The number of active cases is now 21,959.

As international flights began to land, Melbourne Airport Managing Director Lyell Strambi said it was an exciting day for Australians who were finally making their way home.

“It’s such a great day for them to start planning this trip and hopefully bring the joy of joining and reuniting with their loved ones, which they desperately need,” he said.

“It’s so great to see some buzz around the place again, I think it gives us a lot of energy.

“It is also very important for the 20,000 people who work at the airport.”

Sammy Wright and her daughter Tilly came after being stranded in Ireland, the girl meeting her family for the first time in an emotional reunion.

“We’re just happy to be here,” she said in tears.

Andrew Moore broke down in tears as he exited the international arrivals hall, unable to return home to Queensland, and separated from his son in Melbourne who was forced into solitary confinement after being exposed to the virus .

“It’s terrible that you can’t even see your family,” he sobbed.

“I haven’t seen them for a few years.

The first flight to land after the state’s border rules relaxed was the SQ237 from Singapore carrying around 20 passengers on board, which received a water cannon salute as it made its way to the terminal.

Pilot Jaspal Singh said FaceTime was no substitute and he missed his family.

“You can’t touch them, so it’s been difficult,” he said.

“Australians can’t come back to Australia, it’s really difficult.”

Mr Strambi said he expected the domestic market to return to 60% of its pre-Covid traffic by Christmas.

More than 200 international passengers are expected to pass through the gates Monday from Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.

END OF DAILY COVID PRESS CONFERENCES

Over the weekend, the Victorian government announced it would cut its daily press conferences on Covid after 160 consecutive appearances.

Health director Professor Brett Sutton said he was eager to take a step back.

But he said there were “a lot” of public health issues that still needed his attention.

“I hate to say it, I won’t miss you all,” he told media on Friday.

Covid Commander Jeroen Weimar said on Saturday: “The media aspect of my role is a small fragment of what I do.”

Mr Weimar said he would continue to log in at 8:15 a.m. every Saturday morning to set daily priorities with his team.

Mr Weimar said Victoria could finally start considering reconnecting with NSW and the rest of the world.

NO WARRANTIES FOR THE AUS BORDER

As international travel returns for Australians from Monday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg concedes he cannot guarantee the border will not be closed again.

From Monday, vaccinated Australians will be able to return to Australia without needing to self-quarantine. For those looking to travel abroad, they will no longer need to apply for an exemption.

Speaking to Sunrise, the treasurer was asked to ensure the borders would remain open.

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THE TESTS RETURN TO THE TRACK

Driving tests will resume in Melbourne from Monday, as interstate and foreign license holders will also have to change their licenses again.

People whose license tests have been canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions will now be able to make appointments at VicRoads customer service centers across the city.

They will be contacted and will have priority access for test bookings.

Licensing tests, which have been taking place in the Victoria area since September, will also resume in Melbourne.

Transportation Department chief of transportation services Nick Foa said any other metro customers who wanted to make an appointment could do so from November 6.

“While in-person testing is back, having a learning permit test and online risk perception test has given potential drivers a greater degree of flexibility, allowing them to take their test. anytime and anywhere, ”he said.

About 35,000 appointments for VicRoads license testing were canceled between August 5 and October 22, due to the lockdown, of which 20,000 were in-person drive tests.

Rules requiring all interstate and foreign driver’s license holders to convert theirs to a Victorian license within six months of residing in the state were reintroduced in mid-October.

Regulations were suspended for two periods during the pandemic, first in April of last year for 12 months, and then again for the same period this year for six months.

Mr Foa urged new residents to make reservations to avoid “driving illegally”.

An online tool on the VicRoads website can help motorists calculate when they need to transfer their interstate or overseas license.

STUDENTS RETURN TO CAMPUS

Tens of thousands of Victorian TAFE-vaccinated students return to campus Monday after spending much of the past 20 months learning from a distance.

The return will be a relief for the 55,700 students who expect to graduate this year.

Enrollment at the state’s 12 TAFEs increased during the pandemic due to people seeking retraining, the lack of a gap year abroad for school-leavers, and more free classes offered.

New registrations have increased by about 11% this year alone.

This year, nearly 260,000 Victorians were enrolled in TAFE and the training system.

Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney has said that despite the disruptions imposed by Covid, the Victorian skills and training sector has adapted to offer distance and flexible learning.

Pressure is expected to increase on the TAFE sector in the coming years to address skills shortages created by the pandemic, particularly in healthcare and hospitality.

Mandatory vaccinations will also apply in the university sector, with students and double-needled staff allowed to return to all state campuses this month.


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