No new local cases as border restrictions set to ease

Darnell Taylor
January 17, 2021

A two-week infection cycle has elapsed since a cleaner at a Brisbane hotel tested positive for the highly infectious coronavirus strain first detected in Britain, a sign health officials say suggests that efforts, including a three-day city wide lockdown, has stopped its spread.

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria commissioner Emma Cassar on Sunday confirmed a broadcast team member on a flight that landed from Los Angeles on Friday has returned a positive test.

"But everyone involved, the Queensland Government, contact tracers, the medical community and the public deserve deep congratulations on the progress to date".

Mr Andrews said people wanting to return home and visitors would have to apply for a permit and then would be allowed to travel freely after taking a test within 72 hours of arriving, and receiving a negative result. "They basically asked us for our IDs and our permits".

"It's far from ideal, but COVID is far from ideal", Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio told reporters on Sunday.

"It is a condition of entry and it is a condition of staying safe and staying open".

He also said a number of Victorians in hotel quarantine in Queensland were being contacted and retested for the United Kingdom coronavirus strain after returning to Victoria since December 30.

"But they'll be done on the basis of that, and cases".

Despite some of the affected players complaining of unequal practice time, Ms Cassar insists the decision won't be reversed.

"There were lots of people in protective gear", he said.

"We will not be modifying the program or watering it down under any circumstances".

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Ms Cassar said the pair had been formally warned and she is considering transferring persistent breachers to a medi-hotel where they'll have a police officer stationed outside their room.

Western Australia will move to a controlled border with Victoria from Monday.

"It is really low-level, but really unsafe acts which we can't tolerate", she said.

All test results from the worldwide tennis cohort were expected to be returned by 3.30pm and will feature in Monday's figures.

Face masks will only need to be worn in a "high risk settings" from Monday as the Victorian Government starts to ease COVID-19 restrictions.

Though the border is being eased to Victorians, the government still classifies New South Wales and Queensland as medium-risk jurisdictions, and travellers from those regions still require a travel exemption to enter WA.

The new permit system for all domestic travel, introduced earlier this week, is based on a traffic light system.

The Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Logan, Ipswich and Redlands LGAs will be changed from red zones to orange, meaning Victorian residents will be able to return from these zones.

It comes as workers prepare to return to offices after initial plans were put on hold for a week because of the Black Rock cluster.

Mask rules will return to pre-Christmas levels from 11.59pm Sunday.

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