Media release
29 January 2021

Victoria has recorded one new case of coronavirus since yesterday.

The new case is a woman aged in her 60s who is a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

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

This is the 23rd consecutive day where Victoria has recorded no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus.

The number of active cases in Victoria is 27, made up of zero locally acquired cases and 27 cases in travellers in hotel quarantine, unchanged since yesterday.

Following continued low community transmission and exposure risk, the last red zone in New South Wales will now transition to an orange zone, allowing anyone from New South Wales to enter Victoria.

From 6pm Victorian AEDT tonight, the Local Government Area (LGA) of Cumberland will transition to an orange zone and all remaining orange zones will transition to green.

This means that the Greater Sydney LGAs of Blacktown City, Burwood, Canada Bay City, Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield City, Inner West, Liverpool, Parramatta City and Strathfield Municipality will move from orange to green.

Wollongong and the Blue Mountains will also move to green, leaving the only remaining orange zone as Cumberland.

The updated orange zone listing overrides the previous classification as a red zone and applies to the last 14 days. Anyone who is now in an orange zone and meets the permit criteria can now apply for an orange zone permit from 6pm tonight.

Travel from an orange zone requires people to self-isolate, get tested within 72 hours of arrival and remain in quarantine until they receive a negative result.

Travel from a green zone requires people to watch and get tested if they have any symptoms at all.

Exemption applications will no longer be required for Cumberland as it’s being downgraded to an orange zone. People can apply for an orange zone permit via the Service Victoria website.

The latest information and advice, including a description of the red, orange and green 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, 416,273 permits have been issued.  In the past 24 hours, 18,801 applications have been processed – an average of 13.1 permits issued each minute.

Applications can be made through the Service Victoria portal.

The State of Emergency in Victoria will be extended to 26 February 2021 as there remains a serious risk to public health from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Chief Health Officer has made the recommendation and the Minister for Health, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services and the Commissioner for Emergency Services have all approved the extension based the advice from the Chief Health Officer.

Viral fragments of COVID-19 have been detected in wastewater samples recently taken from Gisborne, Hamilton and Leongatha.

Victoria’s wastewater surveillance program has now expanded to 95 sites which are regularly tested for early-warning of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Anyone who lives in or has visited Gisborne from 24 to 26 January, Hamilton from 25 to 27 January or Leongatha from 17 to 19 January, is urged to get tested if they have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild.

Initial testing of wastewater taken from the influent to the Leongatha wastewater treatment plant on January 19 showed a weak result which has now been confirmed with independent testing.

The detection of viral fragments was unexpected given there had been no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in these communities at the time but it can take several weeks for someone to stop shedding the virus.

Wastewater samples are taken at least weekly from 95 wastewater monitoring locations across Victoria, including 70 wastewater treatment plants.

New sites have recently been added in border areas and along major travel routes.  Monitoring recently commenced at wastewater treatment plants in Bright, Cann River, Drouin, Inverloch, Korumburra, Lakes Entrance, Leongatha, Mallacoota, Mounty Beauty, Robinvale and Yarrawonga.

There are also 25 sampling sites across the metropolitan sewer network, in addition to the large Eastern and Western wastewater treatment plants.

Based on the latest public health advice, yesterday the suspension of the ‘travel bubble’ between New Zealand and Australia was extended by the Commonwealth for an additional 72 hours.

People arriving in Victoria from New Zealand will enter mandatory hotel quarantine for a period of 14 days. This will be in place until further notice.

If you plan to travel to Victoria from New Zealand while the travel bubble is suspended, you are strongly encouraged to reconsider.

If you have arrived in Victoria from New Zealand between 9 January 2021 and 25 January 2021, you should get tested and isolate until you get a negative result.

It was previously recommended that people who arrived in Victoria from New Zealand from 14 January should test and isolate.  We now recommend that people who arrived in Victoria from 9 January should test and isolate. This is based on the latest assessment of public health risks in New Zealand.

The Chief Health Officer will continue to monitor the situation in New Zealand and will provide further updates.

For more information about the New Zealand travel bubble suspension and overseas travel visit the Information for overseas travellers page.

Yesterday 15,546 tests were processed, bringing the overall testing total in Victoria since the pandemic began to 4,432,756.

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.

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.

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