Media Release
16 January 2021

Due to the reduced exposure risk and low community transmission, the Local Government Areas of Greater Brisbane - Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Redland, Logan, and Ipswich - have now been declared orange zones by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.

This means that anyone who has been in these five areas of Greater Brisbane in the last 14 days can apply for an orange zone permit to travel to Victoria from 6pm Saturday 16 January 2021.

This change is expected to remove approximately 5,000 exemption requests from the current system, and allows those who applied for exemptions to be eligible for a standard orange zone permit.

Anyone applying for an orange zone permit will need to agree to the conditions including the requirement to self-quarantine, get tested within 72 hours of arrival and remain in self-quarantine until they receive a negative result.

They must also attest that they are not a diagnosed person or a close contact of another diagnosed person, are not experiencing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms and confirm that they have not been in a currently listed red zone in the past 14 days.

Exemption applications will no longer be required if a person has been in Greater Brisbane in the last 14 days. If eligible, the person can apply for an orange zone permit on the Victorian Travel Permit System page.

Victoria has recorded three new cases of coronavirus since yesterday in returning international travellers in hotel quarantine.

The new cases are in a man aged in his 50s, a woman aged in her 30s and a woman aged in her 20s.

For the the tenth consecutive day, Victoria has recorded no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus.

The number of active cases in Victoria is now 26, made up of 7 locally acquired cases, which is a decrease of five since yesterday, and 19 cases in returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine, an increase of three since yesterday.

An aircrew member and Australian Open participant who is not a player have been transferred to a health hotel following positive test results for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The passenger result came in after midnight Friday night and will be counted in tomorrow’s figures. The aircrew member and the passenger have been interviewed and transferred to a health hotel as per normal processes for positive cases.

All remaining 66 passengers on the flight have been determined to be close contacts. Any players and support people will not be able to leave quarantine to attend training. The remaining flight crew all tested negative and were permitted to fly out without passengers directly to their home port. They left at 7am today.

Upon arrival to Australia all players are immediately placed in a secure quarantine environment for 14 days under the authority of COVID Quarantine Victoria and will undergo a more rigorous testing schedule than for most returning travellers.

All areas in Australia are designated as red, orange or green zones based on the latest COVID-19 advice from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer.

The latest information and advice, including a description of the three zones, can be found on the Victorian Travel Permit System page.

The Greater Sydney region (including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong) is currently a red zone and will continue to be monitored daily and updated accordingly.

Travel from a red zone is not permitted unless you have an exception, exemption or work or transit permit.

All travellers entering Victoria now require a permit. The conditions of the permit will be based on where the person is travelling from, or where they have been.

This system allows all residents and travellers wishing to enter Victoria from anywhere across Australia to apply for a permit via the Service Victoria online portal. It takes less than five minutes to complete a permit application which is processed automatically.

As at midday today, there have been 145,761 applications for permits or exemptions since the new traffic light system went live on Monday night (11 January).

In the past 24 hours there have been 19,461 applications made, an average of 13.5 per minute.

Applications can be made through the Service Victoria portal.

From this Monday 18 January, office workers, excluding the Victorian Public Service, can increase to up to 50 per cent of on-site worker capacity. The Victorian Public Service can initiate a return to on-site work starting at up to 25 per cent capacity.

A further increase in these capacity limits is anticipated to occur in late February but will be subject to ongoing public health advice.

Given the current low levels of COVID-19 community transmission in Victoria, the Victorian Chief Health Officer has recommended that mask wearing is no longer necessary in certain settings.

From 11.59pm on Sunday 17 January, masks will only be mandatory:

  • on public transport
  • when riding in a ride share or taxi
  • inside shopping centres, including the retail stores inside shopping centres, such as clothing stores
  • inside indoor markets
  • in large retail stores (over 2000 sqm), such as department stores, electronics stores, furniture stores, hardware stores or supermarkets
  • on domestic flights to and from Victoria
  • at airports
  • in hospitals

You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to. It is strongly recommended you wear one whenever you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others.

Yesterday 14,957 tests were processed, bringing the overall testing total in Victoria since the pandemic began to 4,241,115.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and loss or change in sense of smell or taste. If you are experiencing any symptoms, wear a fitted face mask when you get tested.

Please get tested at your nearest available testing location.

The department is publishing expected wait times at testing sites as well as updated information about locations and hours of operation at the Where to get tested page.

Everyone should continue to monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if they develop symptoms.

Contact tracing interviews and investigations are continuing into the Victorian outbreak situation. As a result, more exposure sites may be discovered and details about exposure sites may change. A list of each exposure site, including dates and times, can be found at the Case locations and outbreaks page.

Information regarding COVID-19 is available at the Department of Health and Human Services website or by calling 1800 675 398.