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Good bet 80 pct target reached on Cup day

Australia could hit the 80 per cent full COVID-19 vaccination mark within a week, as at least four states gear up for quarantine-free international arrivals.

The latest forecast on covid19data.com.au has a best case scenario of 80 per cent – a target set by national cabinet for major changes to restrictions – being hit on November 2, which is also Melbourne Cup day.

The federal health department’s latest data shows 74.1 per cent of Australians over 16 are now fully vaccinated, with 87.1 per cent having received a first dose.

It comes as South Australia announced it would scrap isolation requirements for overseas and domestic travellers with two coronavirus jabs when the state reaches 90 per cent immunisation coverage.

Premier Steven Marshall expects the milestone to be reached before Christmas, weeks after state borders open on November 23.

Victoria and NSW will permit double-jabbed overseas arrivals to enter Melbourne and Sydney without having to isolate from Monday.

Tasmania has set December 15 as the date it will throw open borders to international and domestic travellers.

All travellers will be required to test negative for coronavirus.

The SA government’s announcement further isolates Western Australia, which is likely to remain shut to countries, states and territories with coronavirus until next year.

The massive backlog of returning Australians will be the first to benefit from the new international travel arrangements before migrant workers, international students and tourists.

Officials from the federal health department and Therapeutic Goods Administration will answer questions on the vaccine rollout and case numbers in Canberra on Wednesday.

A key question will be when the TGA will approve booster shots.

Case numbers rose slightly in Victoria with 1510 new infections and four deaths reported on Tuesday.

There was a slight drop in NSW cases with 282 recorded, along with another death, while Canberra detected 12 new cases.

Queensland registered two new local cases – a teenage boy who was a close contact of a person that travelled from NSW, and a woman in home quarantine after being in Melbourne.

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