Media release
09 January 2021

Victoria has closed its border to anyone who has been in Greater Brisbane on or after Saturday 2 January.
 
Anyone who has already arrived in Victoria and visited Great Brisbane on or since Saturday 2 January must get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, even if they have no symptoms, and quarantine at home or in their accommodation until 6pm on Monday 11 January.

The Greater Brisbane ‘hotspot’ covers the local government areas of Brisbane City, Moreton Bay, Redland, Ipswich and Logan.

Victoria is working closely with Queensland authorities to monitor and assess this developing situation and will provide further advice in due course.

Yesterday the Queensland Government ordered a three-day lockdown of the Greater Brisbane area.

All Victorians in these areas are advised to follow the guidance of the Queensland Government and any Victorian with plans to travel to these areas should cancel them.

Victorians in Greater Brisbane can only enter Victoria if granted an exemption. Exemptions are limited and granted only in special cases.

National Cabinet has declared Greater Brisbane a national hotspot after the discovery of a UK variant of COVID-19 in a cleaner at a Brisbane quarantine hotel.

The border with NSW remains closed and the department is working through more than 5000 exemption applications for travel to Victoria for compassionate and medical reasons. 

781 exemptions have been granted so far and staff are processing the most urgent cases first with priority given to Victorian residents.  Every exemption is assessed on a case-by-case basis and is being processed as quickly as possible.

Advice about domestic travel restrictions and entry into Victoria can be found at the Domestic travel restrictions – entry to Victoria page.

Information about border permits, exemptions and applying to enter Victoria is available at Services Victoria website.

We can confirm that a woman who tested positive to coronavirus in Queensland yesterday had been in hotel quarantine in Victoria.

The woman arrived in Victoria from the UK on 26 December with symptoms and was immediately tested for coronavirus. She returned a positive result on 27 December. Genomic test results later indicated that this woman had the B.1.1.7 lineage of the virus, that is currently predominantly found in the UK.

The woman completed 10 days of isolation in hotel quarantine and was released from quarantine on 5 January in line with current national guidelines at the time.

She had been symptom-free for three days prior to medical clearance and release, which was consistent with national protocols.

People who recover from coronavirus can continue to ‘shed’ the virus for several weeks, although they are not considered infectious.

In response to concerns about the UK variant, new national protocols were introduced that require hotel quarantine cases who test positive with the UK variant and recover to stay in isolation for 14 days and complete an exit test. These were immediately implemented in Victoria.

There is a difference between 10 days of isolation for confirmed positive cases (which is now 14 days for the UK strain) and 14 days hotel quarantine for those who haven’t tested positive for the virus.

State and national guidelines are continually reviewed and updated based on the evolving local and international evidence base on COVID-19.

Victoria has recorded one new case of coronavirus since yesterday in a member of an international flight crew in hotel quarantine.
 
The new hotel quarantine case is in a woman aged in her 30s. 
 
Victoria has recorded no new locally acquired cases of coronavirus.
 
The number of active cases in Victoria is now 40, made up of 28 locally acquired cases which is no change since yesterday and 12 cases in hotel quarantine, an increase of one in the past 24 hours. The number of active cases linked to the Black Rock Restaurant cluster remains at 27.
 
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.

Yesterday 28,337 tests were processed, bringing the overall testing total in Victoria since the pandemic began to 4,116,496.
 
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. Wait times at testing sites across the system have substantially reduced but delays can still be expected at some of our busier testing centres.
 
The department is publishing expected wait times at testing sites on its website.  The website also includes updated information about locations and hours of operation for testing sites at the Where to get tested page.
 
Information regarding COVID-19 is available at the Department of Health and Human Services website or by calling 1800 675 398.