December 8, 2023

Victoria records zero local coronavirus cases for 17th day, three in hotel quarantine

Victoria has recorded three new coronavirus cases in hotel quarantine, but the streak of zero…

Victoria records zero local coronavirus cases for 17th day, three in hotel quarantine

Victoria has recorded three new coronavirus cases in hotel quarantine, but the streak of zero locally-acquired cases continues.

Today is the 17th consecutive day the state has recorded no local infections.

Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) received 15,711 test results in the 24 hours to midnight yesterday.

There are now 33 active cases in Victoria, an increase of two from yesterday.

However most of Victoria’s active coronavirus infections are international arrivals and contained in hotel quarantine.

DHHS yesterday said just one active case was locally acquired — an infection remaining from the Black Rock restaurant cluster.

No details about the new hotel quarantine cases have been released.

Georgie Crozier, the Opposition spokesperson on health, said the Government has not disclosed if they were linked to the Australian Open.

“Where is the transparency from the Government?” she asked.

“Do they know what’s going on with these three additional cases?

“[Victorians] deserve the answers … and they need it in real time.”

Victoria’s limit on home gatherings was increased from 15 to 30 from 11:59pm yesterday.

“We thank Victorians for their patience over the past three weeks for embracing the lower gathering limit,” DHHS said in the Chief Health Officer’s coronavirus update yesterday.

“It has been challenging for many people but the reward for that sacrifice has been our reduction in cases and bringing the Black Rock cluster under control.”

Border restrictions were also eased yesterday, with most of Sydney now considered an orange zone, and all of regional New South Wales now deemed a green zone.

The Cumberland local government area in western Sydney remains a red zone.

Victoria to add new hotels to quarantine program

The Victorian Government is looking at adding new hotels to its mandatory quarantine program as it prepares to allow more international arrivals into the state each week.

There has been a cap of 1,120 overseas arrivals per week since December 7, when the state re-booted its hotel quarantine after a months-long hiatus due to the second wave.

Premier Daniel Andrews last week flagged that number would be increased “very soon” in order to allow more Australian residents who were stranded overseas to get home.

Details of how Victoria would accommodate the additional arrivals are yet to be announced, but the State Government today confirmed it could add new hotels to the program.

“The Victorian Government is currently considering a range of options to expand mandatory quarantine — including new hotels — to allow more overseas Victorians to return home safely,” a Government spokesperson said in a statement.

“The number of required sites will vary depending on whatever the new arrivals cap is set at, as well as individual building capacity.

“Details of the new hotels will be announced once the expansion plans have been finalised.”

Ms Crozier said Victoria cannot afford a third lockdown and the Government must make sure any change in the hotel quarantine program is safe.

“When other events are being postponed because they don’t deem it to be safe, then the Government needs to make sure that they are doing everything to protect Victorians,” Ms Crozier said.

Mr Andrews has said the number of international arrivals allowed into the state each week is unaffected by the Australian Open or seasonal workers.

“I’ll have announcements to make soon, and I have agreements with the Prime Minister about us doing more, and that’s only fair, and we will have more than the numbers that are coming back now,” he said last week.