News State Victoria News Just one local case as virus rules relax across Victoria

Just one local case as virus rules relax across Victoria

victoria masks outdoors
Masks are off outdoors for Melburnians, including chief health officer Brett Sutton, from Friday. Photo: Getty
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Victoria had just one new local COVID case on Friday, as coronavirus rules further relaxed across the state.

State health authorities said the latest case was a close contact of an already infected person.

The result came from more than 35,000 tests in the previous 24 hours.

Testing numbers in Victoria have picked up in recent days as authorities concentrated on the virus’ spread through a townhouse development at Southbank, in inner-Melbourne. The cluster there had risen to eight cases by Thursday.

From Friday, Melburnians are no longer subject a 25-kilometre travel limit and can enter regional Victoria for the first time in three weeks after the state’s fourth COVID-19 lockdown.

Under a raft of rule changes, Melburnians are also allowed two adult visitors a day to their homes, and can gather outdoors in groups of 20.

Masks remain mandatory indoors, but are required outdoors only when social distancing is not possible.

Businesses such as gyms and indoor entertainment venues can reopen, while density limits at offices, cafes, restaurants and pubs have increased.

In regional Victoria, the home visit cap is up to five adults plus their dependents per day, while up to 50 people can gather outdoors.

Restrictions are likely to ease again next week if case numbers remain low.

But the national COVID spotlight has shifted north, with chief health officer Brett Sutton declaring three Sydney areas “orange zones” under Victoria’s travel permit system amid a growing outbreak.

Those planning to enter Victoria from the City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra council areas must obtain a travel permit, get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

The cluster based in Sydney’s east rose to three cases on Thursday. NSW is also dealing with a suspected fourth case at Baulkham Hills, in Sydney’s north-west.

NSW Health is yet to provide an update for Friday.

Elsewhere, an “operational error” has been blamed for a COVID-positive nurse working shifts at a second Melbourne hospital.

  • See all Victorian exposure sites here

Victoria’s testing commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed the woman, who had been treating the state’s three hospitalised COVID-19 cases at Epping Private Hospital, also worked on June 11 and 12 at Epping’s Northern Hospital while possibly infectious.

Staff working on a COVID ward and dealing directly with virus patients are not supposed to work elsewhere. The error has potentially exposed an additional 27 Northern Hospital healthcare workers and others to the virus.

Several venues at the Crown Casino complex have been listed as exposure sites after the nurse visited last Saturday. They include a screening of the film Cruella on Saturday night, which is a tier one site.

Meanwhile, South Melbourne Market reopened on Friday after being listed as a COVID-19 exposure site earlier in the week.

A positive case attended the market on June 12.

-with AAP