Media Release
20 January 2021

Victoria has recorded three new cases of coronavirus since yesterday, all of which are in hotel quarantine.

Of the new cases, one is linked to the Australian Open in a support staff member of a player, one is a male in his 40s in international air crew, and one a male in his 50s who is a returned international traveller.

The total number of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases associated with the tournament is seven with a further three cases from today (two players and a non-player) that are still under review.

One previously reported case in a person associated with the tournament has been reclassified following a review by CQV.

There are no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria.

This is the 14th consecutive day where Victoria has recorded no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The number of active cases in Victoria is 34, made up of two locally acquired cases linked to the Black Rock restaurant cluster, which is a decrease of one since yesterday, and 32 cases in travellers in hotel quarantine, an increase of one since yesterday.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that only 10 Local Government Areas (LGA) in Greater Sydney will remain in the red zone.

These are Blacktown City, Burwood, Canada Bay City, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield City, Inner West, Liverpool City, Parramatta City and Strathfield municipality.

If you have been in one of these 10 LGAs in the last 14 days (other than for transit) you cannot travel to Victoria without an exemption, exception or essential worker permit.

Travellers from all other areas of Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains and Wollongong, can apply for an orange zone permit and enter Victoria, as long as you have not been in any other currently listed red zone in the past 14 days and agree to the conditions of an orange zone permit – self-quarantine, get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test within 72 hours and remain in self-quarantine until you receive a negative result.

Exemption applications will no longer be required if you have been in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains and Wollongong in the 14 days prior to 6pm on Monday 18 January - excluding the 10 red zone LGAs in Greater Sydney.

Victoria’s new ‘traffic light’ permit system is now in effect.

All areas in Australia are designated as red, orange or green zones based on the latest coronavirus (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.

This ‘traffic light’ 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.

Since the portal went live on 11 January, 233,464 permits have been issued up to midday today. In the past 24 hours, 21,299 applications have been processed – an average of 14.8 permits issued each minute.

Applications can be made through the Service Victoria portal.

Since Monday of this week, office workers, excluding the Victorian Public Service, are able to increase to up to 50 per cent of on-site worker capacity. And 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 coronavirus (COVID-19) community transmission in Victoria, the Victorian Chief Health Officer has recommended that mask wearing is no longer necessary in certain settings.

Masks are only 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 19,810 tests were processed, bringing the overall testing total in Victoria since the pandemic began to 4,301,495.

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 on 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 on 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.