Media release
13 January 2021

Anyone currently in Victoria who has completed 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine in Brisbane at the Grand Chancellor hotel on or after 30 December is asked to isolate and contact the coronavirus hotline immediately. 

The Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Greater Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Logan, Ipswich will continue to remain in the in the red zone and travel to Victoria will not be permitted without an exemption, exception or permitted worker permit. 

Anyone who has arrived into Victoria from one of these LGA since 30 December must get tested and quarantine at home until they receive a negative result. They should call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 immediately.

Previously we had asked travellers to test if they had been in these QLD areas on or after 2 January 2021, however this public health advice has changed based on new information from QLD Health authorities regarding the B.1.1.7 lineage cluster in their hotel quarantine program.

Victoria has recorded three new cases of coronavirus since yesterday, all in returned international travelers in hotel quarantine.

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

There are no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in Victoria since yesterday.

This is the seventh consecutive day where Victoria has recorded no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus.

The number of active cases in Victoria is now 35, made up of 18 locally acquired cases, which is a decrease of four since yesterday, and 17 cases in returned overseas travelers in hotel quarantine, an increase of one since yesterday. 

Late on Sunday 10 January, the department was made aware by health colleagues in Israel that a male child who travelled from Melbourne to Tel Aviv on the evening of 8 January on an Emirates flight, had tested positive to COVID-19 on arrival in Tel Aviv.

The child had last attended an early learning centre in Armadale on 7 January.  The centre has been cleaned and contact tracing work was implemented. Children and staff who attended the centre have been tested with no positive results.

A careful approach was taken by the Victorian the Public Health team around this potential case.  The team worked closely together with our Israeli colleagues, the Early Learning Centre staff and associated families very effectively in the face of potential threat to community from this deadly virus. Over 100 people were engaged locally in the response to protect the community.  

The child has been tested again in Israel and has now recorded a negative result.

Given a high uptake of tests from the Armadale early learning centre - all negative - and no obvious source of infection in Victoria, the department has now determined that this child’s original test is a false positive and all close contacts can be released from quarantine.

Yesterday 17,908 tests were processed, bringing the overall testing total in Victoria since the pandemic began to 4,194,615.  

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 Where to get tested page.
Victoria’s new ‘traffic light’ permit system is now in effect.

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. 

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 can be found at the Victorian Travel Permit System page.

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

Since the portal went live on Monday night, 82,786 permits have been issued up to midday today. In the past 24 hours, 34,570 applications have been processed – an average of 24 permits issued each minute.

Applications can be made through the Service Victoria portal.

The definition of the current zones are:

Red zone:  You will not be allowed to enter Victoria without an exception, exemption or work or transit permit. If you try to enter Victoria at a land border without an exception, exemption, or work or transit permit you will be turned away. Victorian travellers who arrive at an airport or seaport will be fined and required to self-quarantine. Interstate travellers will be fined and sent back.

The Greater Sydney region (including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong) and the Local Government Areas of Greater Brisbane, including Brisbane City, Morton Bay, Redlands, Logan and Ipswich, are currently red zones and will continue to be monitored daily and updated accordingly.  Travel from a red zone is not permitted.

People are allowed to transit through red zones on their way to Victoria.  If you are transiting through a Queensland or New South Wales Red Zone to Victoria because you have a permit, or an exemption or exception, you can stop for toilet breaks, rest breaks, food and drinks or petrol. However, you should not stop to go to the shops, or visit others on the way home.  Only stop when necessary, keep a record of your stops and ensure that you drive safely.  You must wear a face mask in all public places. 

Travellers from the green and orange zones can transit through Sydney or Brisbane airports on route to Melbourne. While transiting, travellers must not leave the Sydney or Brisbane airports, practise social distancing, wear a mask indoors at all times and outdoors when not able to socially distance, while in a car with others outside your group and while on the aircraft. 
 
Orange zone:  You will be able to apply for a permit and enter Victoria if you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms and haven’t been to a currently listed red zone in the last 14 days.  Once in Victoria you must immediately self-isolate, get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours and continue to self-quarantine until you get a negative test result. 

Regional NSW is classified as an orange zone. For travelers who arrived from regional NSW and are currently quarantining at home, they are now permitted to leave quarantine only if they have tested negative to COVID-19.

Green zone:  You will be able to apply for a permit and enter Victoria if you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms and haven’t been to a currently listed orange or red zone in the last 14 days. Once in Victoria you should watch for symptoms and get a COVID-19 test if you feel unwell.

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

The department continues to work through 11,095 exemption applications for entry into Victoria.  Since the start of the Victorian-NSW border restrictions, a total of 1320 exemptions have been granted and just four applications have been rejected.

More than 800 of the approved applications were prioritised for Victorians to return for care, well-being and compassionate reasons.

Yesterday the department was able to close off more than 1200 exemption requests from people travelling from regional NSW which has changed from a red zone to an orange zone.

Almost 5000 applications have been received from the Queensland red zones.

Nearly 3500 applications for exemptions to travel have been assessed as being for non-priority reasons, mainly being NSW and Queensland residents seeking to travel to Victoria for business or leisure.

The majority of outstanding applications have been triaged for call centre interviews.  869 applications have had interviews completed and are pending the receipt of documents and assessment for further consideration.

Yesterday the department’s call centre received 9457 calls with an average wait time of four minutes and 12 seconds.

The department has commenced the rollout of a new automated system to streamline the exemption application process.

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.