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States and Territories focus on reopening plans after lockdown

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States and Territories focus on reopening plans after lockdown

The Australian Government predicts the virus financial support to ease by the end of the year with States and Territories now focusing on their reopening plans after lockdown 

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said he expects the need for federal COVID-19 support payments to be scaled back after virus-affected states have eased their restrictions. 

“As we hope to reach at the end of the year the states, particularly NSW and Victoria, coming out of lockdown, then the need for that type of support diminishes,” Minister Birmingham said. 

“We need to ensure we continue to deliver an economic plan for growth to get back on a more stable footing.” 

Victoria has already outlined its reopening plans out of lockdown, due to begin next week, after following the virus modelling from the Burnet Institute. ACT’s Chief Minister Andrew Barr will also outline the territory’s gradual reopening plans on Tuesday. 

However, Yass Valley Council in southern NSW re-entered a two-week lockdown just days after the local government area relaxed its restrictions due to a new COVID case that was detected last Monday. 

Despite the lockdown in southern NSW, the state is on the threshold of being the first jurisdiction to reach 80 per cent of its residents aged over 16 receiving their first vaccine dose. 

Data shows that over 133,000 vaccine doses were distributed to the population last Sunday. Over two-thirds of Australians aged over 16 have received their first dose and over 42 per cent are now fully vaccinated. 

Children over 12 years of age are now also eligible to get vaccinated. 

Although the number of Aussies receiving vaccines increased, Labor spokesman Bill Shorten said more efforts should be made to vaccinate those with a disability and called for federal outreach programs to ensure that the vulnerable got access to a vaccine before the virus hotspots reopen. 

Around 1257 cases and seven deaths were reported in NSW on Monday. Meanwhile, Victoria recorded 473 new cases while Canberra recorded 13 new cases. 

With news from AAP.

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