Australia state Victoria introduces new 'pandemic specific laws'

Victoria, the government of Australia's state, today announced new public health laws to replace emergency powers which were put into place at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the new laws, the state's chief health officer would no longer have the final say on Victoria's public orders, according to reports.

In addition, the laws would introduce a tiered system for fines to those in breach of public health orders to reduce the burden on disadvantaged citizens. 

the state's Health Minister Martin Foley in a statement said that “We have learned over the course of the past 21 months that these powers impact on all sorts of aspects of our community and our well-being and our economy and our mental health and business and community," Victoria exited its sixth lockdown on October 22 as it reached a full vaccination rate of 70 per cent.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews called for citizens to come forward and receive their second dose of the vaccine. In the last 24 hours, Victoria recorded 1,510 new locally acquired cases. However, the number of active cases dropped to 24,715 on Tuesday from 24,831 reported on Monday. The state also recorded four additional fatalities in the same period, bringing the total death toll to 234. Currently, 75 per cent of Victoria’s adult population have been fully vaccinated.

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