Victoria’s run of days without a locally acquired COVID-19 infection has continued, but authorities have warned interstate outbreaks could slow plans to lift restrictions.
- It is the third consecutive day without a local infection being recorded
- Border restrictions for the NT have been loosened, but remain in place for Sydney, Brisbane and Perth
- The state’s COVID-19 response commander says the NSW outbreak will continue to affect Victorian restriction levels
There were 24,247 test results processed on Friday and no new infections were detected in either hotel quarantine or in the community.
It is the third day in a row without a locally acquired case of coronavirus, and it has been more than a week since an infection was recorded in someone not in quarantine or isolation.
“That’s really good news,” COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said.
“And I think we’re really starting to see a very stable picture now.”
The number of active cases in Victoria has fallen to 30, most of which are in hotel quarantine.
Only 210 primary close contacts of cases remain in mandatory quarantine, all linked to a man who contracted the virus in Sydney early last week.
There were 19,623 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine administered in state-run centres on Friday.
The latest federal data shows a similar number have been administered through the Commonwealth rollout each day.
Interstate outbreaks could impact restrictions timeline
Outbreaks across the country meant a slight easing of restrictions at stadiums and theatres planned for Friday did not go ahead.
The current level of restrictions, which includes mandatory masks indoors and caps on gatherings, is expected to be in place until at least 11:59pm next Thursday.
Mr Weimar said the restrictions were always under review, but whether they changed would depend on what was happening both in Victoria and interstate.
“We really want to get to the end of these outbreaks … to maintain that and to support our interstate colleagues in getting their outbreaks under control.”
He said with more than 30 new cases recorded in New South Wales yesterday, the “pretty high fuel load” of cases would always be “a bit of a brake on how hard we can go here”.
NT red zones downgraded, others remain in place
Overnight, the state downgraded Darwin and Alice Springs from red zones to orange zones, effectively opening the border back up to people in the Northern Territory.
From 11:59pm Friday, people travelling from Alice Springs and Greater Darwin — which encompasses City of Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield — need to get a test upon arrival in Victoria and isolate until they receive a negative result.
People who arrived into Victoria when Darwin and Alice Springs were red zones need to get tested and continue to quarantine until they get a negative result and are cleared by the Department of Health.
Yesterday, the whole of regional New South Wales and the ACT were declared orange zoned, including border communities.
The “border bubble” does remain in effect for residents of those communities.
Perth and Peel in WA become orange zones from 1:00am on Sunday.
In Queensland, Townsville, Magnetic Island, Palm Island, Ipswich, Logan and Redland within Greater Brisbane and Gold Coast, Lockyer Valley, Noosa, Scenic Rim and Somerset will also become orange zones from 1:00am on Sunday
People arriving into Victoria from orange zones need a permit and must isolate, get tested and stay isolated until they return a negative result
Even more strict border controls remain in place for Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong in New South Wales, which remain classified as red zones.
Brisbane, Moreton Bay, and Sunshine Coast in Queensland are also red zones.
Victorians who have been in red zones can come home, but need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Non-residents are not allowed in from red zones without an exemption.
Five people found not isolating could be fined $5k each
Mr Weimar said authorities were constantly reviewing the settings in place under the state’s traffic light border permit system.
He said there had been about 48,000 people enter the state on orange zone permits, and more than 13,000 Victorians had come home on red zone permits.
There were were about 200 checks conducted yesterday by health and officers and defence personnel at homes where returned travellers were meant to be in quarantine.
They found five people who were not isolating appropriately, Mr Weimar said.
“We are now taking them forward for appropriate enforcement action which includes those fines of up to just under $5,000,” he said.