Media release
2 January 2021

Victoria has recorded 12 new cases of coronavirus since yesterday including 10 cases in the community and two cases in hotel quarantine.

Two of these cases were reported in NSW’s numbers yesterday.

This brings the number of active cases in Victoria to 29 including 18 locally acquired cases, an increase of nine since yesterday and 11 in hotel quarantine, an increase of two since yesterday.

All 18 of the locally acquired cases in the community have been identified as primary close contacts to the existing cases in the Mentone and Mitcham clusters. This means that all active cases in the community have been linked to existing cases. Genomic testing has also confirmed all of these existing cases in Victoria are linked to the NSW Northern Beaches outbreak.

There were 18,337 tests received yesterday and in addition more than 10,000 test results have come through this morning.

We have seen a very high demand for testing due to the requirement for Victorians returning from NSW to get tested as well as the request for people who have been identified as a close contact or who have been to exposure sites to get tested.

We ask all Victorians to be patient and plan ahead to get tested. We have increased the number of testing sites and hours have been extended at many sites, with further additional capacity continuing to be added all the time.

Hundreds of staff who worked on the frontline all year have returned early from their holidays to increase the capacity of testing sites across the state – so we encourage all Victorians to ensure you get tested if you have the mildest of symptoms, you’re a close contact or you have visited an exposure site.

Updated information on locations and hours of operation for testing sites can be located on the Where to get tested page.

There are now exposure sites in Black Rock, Brighton, Cape Schank, Cheltenham, Doveton, Forest Hill, Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, Hallam, Glen Waverley, Lakes Entrance, Leongatha, Mentone, Mordialloc, Melbourne CBD, Moorabbin, Mount Waverley, Oakleigh, Southbank, and Wonthaggi and this list of exposure site will increase over coming days as contact tracing continues

Details of each exposure sites including dates and times can be found at Case alerts – public exposure sites.

Victoria’s border with New South Wales is now closed. Anyone who tries to enter Victoria, who does not have an exemption to enter, will be turned away and will need to find alternative accommodation in New South Wales.

The application for exemption is assessed by the Chief Health Officer or one of his delegates and at present, will take between 24 and 48hrs to be completed, however this timeframe may increase if there is a surge in applications for exemptions. 

Victorians granted an exemption to enter Victoria, will be directed to cross the border at specific locations. This will be detailed as part of the approval process.

Victorians with exceptional circumstances may apply for an exemption to travel to Victoria and this can be done via the Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398. Exemptions must be applied for in advance.

Any Victorians currently self-isolating for 14 days can access assistance including help to access medial/pharmaceutical services and food relief, financial support. Information on supports available can be found at Isolation and quarantine – extra help and support page.

Victorians should not to travel to anywhere in New South Wales as you will not be able to re-enter Victoria without an exemption. Anyone in breach of the Chief Health Officer or Emergency Orders could face significant fines.

The border restrictions are reviewed every day based on public health advice and we're working closely with NSW Health to monitor the situation closely. 

For Victorians living along the Murray River, the existing ‘border bubble’ arrangement allowing residents to travel across the border, between permitted Local Government Areas will continue. The Cross Border Commissioner is continuing his work to determine the future system to ensure residents can access work, health services, education and keep the local economy active.

We have activated the first tier of the Aged Care Response which means that only we ask you to only make essential visits to aged care facilities. We have to take swift and significant action to reduce the risk to all Victorians while we work to contain this outbreak.

There is an A-League match scheduled to be played at AAMI Park tonight. This event has been approved by the Chief Health Officer and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

Event organisers have been reminded of current restrictions and their adherence of their COVIDSafe Plan that includes mask wearing in indoor setting and where physical distancing is not possible, the register of attendees, additional zones to reduce missing of patrons and staff.

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