News State Victoria News Victoria records no new COVID cases as some border restrictions ease

Victoria records no new COVID cases as some border restrictions ease

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Victoria is enjoying its third straight day of no new coronavirus cases. Photo: ABC News
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Victoria has recorded no new cases and no hotel quarantine cases in the last 24 hours.

There were 19,623 vaccine doses administered yesterday and 24,247 test results were received.

The latest federal data shows a similar amount of vaccines has been administered through the Commonwealth rollout each day.

It has been more than a week since an infection was recorded in someone not in quarantine or isolation.

It is the third day in a row without a locally acquired case of coronavirus.

The number of active cases in Victoria has fallen to 30, which includes those in hotel quarantine.

The state’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton expressed his pleasure at the latest figures, tweeted “crushing it, Victoria”.

Meanwhile, five people have been slapped with big fines for breaking quarantine rules after arriving in Victoria.

The state’s virus testing chief, Jeroen Weimar, said ADF officers checking home isolation compliance caught the returned travellers breaking the rules on Friday, and they will each be fined just under $5000.

Mr Weimar said after weeks of work to contain the latest outbreaks, his biggest fears are returned travellers failing to comply with restrictions, and more leaks out of the hotel quarantine system.

“Those are the two things that give me sleepless nights,” he said on Saturday.

“Our main concern is when I’ve got 13,000 people here in Victoria who have come from interstate on red zone permits, each one of them represents a risk that they are incubating the coronavirus.”

Of the 13,000 people who have travelled from red zones, 44 per cent have so far returned negative tests.

Mr Weimar said any further easing of restrictions in Victoria depends on local efforts as well as the situation interstate, with 35 new local cases recorded in NSW.

“That’s a pretty high fuel load that’s firing off north of the border and we’re rightly concerned about that,” he said.

Victorian residents returning from red zones such as Sydney must self-quarantine for 14 days and get tested twice during that time.

About 48,000 people have recently entered Victoria using orange zone permits, which requires them to isolate and get tested, and so far 41 per cent have returned negative test results.

On Friday 50 defence force members visited just under 200 households to check people are following isolation rules.

Authorities also checked 800 people who arrived in Victoria by plane, of which 600 people came from red zones.

Five were forced to turn around as soon as they arrived, while another three were immediately taken to hotel quarantine.

Overnight, Victoria 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 takes in 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, all of regional NSW was declared an orange zone, including border communities. The “border bubble” remains in effect for residents of those communities.

Stricter border controls remain in place for much of the rest of the country, with red zone declarations in place for Greater Sydney, Greater Brisbane, Townsville, Magnetic Island, Palm Island, Perth and Peel.

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.

The 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.