Victoria has posted a sixth consecutive day without a local or interstate acquired coronavirus case, as the state’s border with regional NSW reopened following the launch of a new permit system.
Anyone planning to enter Victoria from interstate will need to apply for a travel permit under the state government’s “traffic light” system, which had a delayed launch on Monday evening.
The system designates regions as green, orange or red zones based on their coronavirus risk profile.
Regional NSW has been classified orange, while Greater Sydney and Greater Brisbane remain red.
Despite the changes coming into effect at 6pm on Monday, people were unable to apply for a permit on the Services Victoria website until about 8.55pm.
A government spokeswoman apologised for the delay.
“The teams from DHHS and Service Victoria worked as quickly as possible to get the permit system up and running, as they worked to draft directions and experienced some technical issues,” she said.
Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton took to social media to deny reports the delay stemmed from the new public health directions not being signed on time.
Apart from Victorian-NSW border community residents, anyone arriving in Victoria without a permit faces a $4957 fine.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the permit system would remain for as long as the state of emergency lasted.
“The stakes are very high here. We have built something that is precious and it needs to be safeguarded,” he said.
But state Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien described the permit requirement for returning from green zones as a “massive overreach”.
There were also no COVID-19 cases in Victorian hotel quarantine on Tuesday.
There are 38 active cases in the state.
Some 18,139 Victorians have been tested in the past 24 hours.