News State Victoria News Border changes in Victoria as it notches up 41 days without a virus case

Border changes in Victoria as it notches up 41 days without a virus case

melbourne lockdown end
Most Melbourne businesses will be able to reopen, with strict limits on customer numbers. Photo: Getty
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Victoria’s run of COVID-free days is edging closer to the six-week mark, with the 41st consecutive day confirmed on Thursday.

It came from more than 11,600 tests in the previous 24-hour period.

There are hundreds of returned Australians and permanent residents in hotel quarantine in Melbourne after Victoria resumed taking returned travellers this week. None has yet tested positive to the coronavirus.

But Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said as international travel resumed, more virus cases were inevitable.

“We will finish up with infections,” he said on Wednesday.

“You can’t make it zero risk, but you can get that risk down very low, and then do everything you can to mitigate it.

Up to 1120 international arrivals are scheduled to land at Melbourne airport each week, with travellers sent to city hotels to quarantine for 14 days.

On Wednesday, Tasmania – which also started taking returning Australians this week – reported three virus infections in a returned mother and her young children. Her husband was also confirmed with the virus on Thursday, becoming the island state’s fourth COVID case in 120 days.

Elsewhere, Victoria will no longer require permits for people crossing into the state from South Australia from December 12.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton said his decision was based on COVID exposure dates from SA – which has not had a new virus infection for 11 days.

The border permit system was introduced as South Australia battled the Parafield cluster in Adelaide’s north.

Professor Sutton said Victorian health authorities would conduct spot checks on flights arriving in Melbourne from South Australia.

“This is also in line with the removal of the border and voluntary testing at the road checks,” he said.

“To date, the voluntary testing scheme of travellers from SA has not received one positive result.”

-with agencies