Victoria set to snap out of lockdown

Original article by Tom Minear, James Campbell
Herald Sun – Page: 9 : 17-Feb-21

The number of COVID-19 cases linked to Melbourne’s Holiday Inn cluster has risen to 19, after Victoria recorded two new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Both are close contacts of a person who attended a family function in Coburg. However, the Victorian government is expected to end the state’s five-day snap lockdown as scheduled at 11.59pm on 17 February, unless there is a spike in positive cases. Some restrictions are likely to remain in place, including a requirement to wear a face mask indoors. Crowds are also set to return to the Australian Open, although a new cap is likely to apply.


Victoria to test hotel quarantine staff daily after worker’s mystery Covid case

Original article by Elias Visontay
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 9-Feb-21

The Victorian government has introduced changes to its quarantine hotel system after a second worker contracted the virus in less than a week. Amongst other things, quarantine hotel staff will be tested for the coronavirus every day, even if they have not worked a shift, while all staff will be issued with personal protective equipment. The changes were implemented after a Grand Hyatt employee contracted the UK variant and a woman tested positive for COVID-19 after completing a shift at the Holiday Inn on 7 February. Health authorities hope that genomic sequencing will help to determine how the woman contracted the virus.


Victorian coronavirus hotel quarantine worker tests positive to COVID-19

Original article by – Page: Online : 8-Feb-21

Victorian health authorities have advised that a second worker at a Melbourne quarantine hotel has tested positive for COVID-19. The authorised officer at Melbourne Airport’s Holiday Inn tested positive for the coronavirus on 7 February, after testing negative three days earlier. Close contacts of the woman, including other workers at the hotel, will be required to be tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days. The state government reimposed some coronavirus restrictions on 4 February after an employee at the Grand Hyatt quarantine hotel contracted the highly-contagious UK strain.


Back to work on Monday: Melbourne’s CBD revival can begin

Original article by Shannon Deery, John Dagge
Herald Sun – Page: 11 : 15-Jan-21

The Victorian government has advised that 50 per cent of private sector employees will be able to return to working in offices from 18 January, while 25 per cent of public sector workers will be permitted on-site. The government expects to further increase the capacity limits in late February, subject to public health advice. Meanwhile, office staff will no longer be required to wear face masks at work, but employers will have to keep a record of all workers and visitors who attend their premises for more than 15 minutes. Victoria has recorded an eight successive day with no new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases; there are 29 active cases across the state.


You need a permit to go home, Victorians told

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Jan-21

Victoria’s Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien has criticised the state government’s new travel permit system for people who are returning from interstate, describing it as an ‘overreach’. He contends that the system will require Victorians to apply for permission from the government to enter the state even if they have been in a region that has never had a COVID-19 case. Failure to comply with the permit system will attract a fine of nearly $5,000. The government has also launched a ‘traffic light’ advisory system for people intending to travel interstate. Victoria has recorded five consecutive days with no new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases.


Victoria whole again as ring of steel rusts away

Original article by Remy Varga
The Australian – Page: 9 : 9-Nov-20

Victoria has recorded nine consecutive days with no new coronavirus cases. Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a further easing of lockdown restrictions that took effect at 11.59pm on 8 November. Amongst other things, the 25km travel limit in Melbourne has been scrapped and residents will now be free to travel to regional Victoria. The number of patrons that hospitality venues can serve has been increased, while cultural venues such as libraries and museums can reopen with strict rules on the number of patrons. Lockdown measures will be further eased on 23 November, although Andrews says face masks are likely to remain mandatory for some time. There are now just four active COVID-19 cases in Victoria, compared with 42 in New South Wales.


Hotel handed $500k to quarantine no one

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 1 & 11 : 6-Nov-20

The Victorian government’s handling of its hotel quarantine program has come under renewed scrutiny. It has been revealed that the Sands Golf Resort in Torquay was paid $511,500 to house returned travellers under two state government contracts. However, the resort was not used as a quarantine hotel, and the Chinese-linked company that owned it subsequently went into administration. The company was also sanctioned for visa fraud less than a week before it was awarded the first government contract. The inquiry into the quarantine program will release its interim report on 6 November.


Victorian aged care homes in clear

Original article by Alex White
Herald Sun – Page: 15 : 6-Nov-20

Victoria has recorded its sixth consecutive day with no new coronavirus cases, while the number of active cases across the state has fallen to 20. The Department of Health & Human Services has also confirmed that there are no active cases in the state’s aged-care sector for the first time since mid-June. The state government is still preparing to further ease lockdown restrictions on 8 November, but it has reiterated the need to keep wearing face masks in public. Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien contends that face masks may not be necessary in open spaces, and he says Victoria should adopt New South Wales coronavirus restrictions. There are 41 active COVID-19 cases in NSW.


Masks here to stay, says Dan Andrews

Original article by Kieran Rooney
Herald Sun – Page: 14 : 5-Nov-20

Victoria has recorded five consecutive days with no new coronavirus cases; there are now just 30 active cases across the state, and Melbourne’s 14-day rolling average of new cases has fallen to 1.7. Premier Daniel Andrews says the state government is on track to announce a further easing of lockdown restrictions on 8 November. However, he has cautioned that wearing a face mask in public places is likely to remain mandatory in the near-term, arguing that Victorians must not become complacent. Meanwhile, there are 49 active locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in NSW.


Victoria eases exit map goals

Original article by Tom Burton
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 28-Oct-20

Victoria recorded no new coronavirus cases for a second consecutive day on 27 October; the state last did so in early March. The future easing of lockdown restrictions under the government’s revised COVID-19 roadmap plan will now be based on public health advice rather than a certain number of days with no new cases. However, despite the gradual re-opening of the state’s economy, Premier Daniel Andrews has cautioned that face masks are likely to remain mandatory until at least the end of 2020. Meanwhile, New South Wales has recorded 12 new COVID-19 cases, including two that were locally-acquired, while two new cases have been diagnosed in Western Australia.