DHHS Media Release - 18 December 2020

Victorians are strongly advised not to travel to Sydney as conditions are expected to deteriorate and you may not be able to re-enter without undertaking hotel quarantine for 14 days.

From midnight tonight, a permit system will be in place for all New South Wales residents travelling to Victoria, residents from other states travelling through NSW and Victorians visiting NSW and returning home. More information about the permit system and the application form will be available shortly.

Anyone trying to enter Victoria from the Northern Beaches and other NSW exposure sites (red zone) from midnight tonight will not be permitted to enter. If passengers are arriving from a red zone after midnight tonight, they will be transferred to Hotel Quarantine where they will be required to remain for 14 days.

Anyone from NSW travelling from Greater Sydney (orange zone) is encouraged to get tested on arrival and self-quarantine until they receive a negative result.

Those travelling from regional NSW (green zone) will be asked to monitor for symptoms.

DHHS is contacting all airline passengers who travelled from NSW and arrived into Victoria from 11 December. Any passengers who have travelled from the Northern Beaches and other NSW exposure sites from 11 December will be required to get tested and self-quarantine for 14 days from the date they were last in a red zone.

All travellers will be asked to carry their permit with them when flying and flights will be met by members of our public health team at Tullamarine Airport and Albury, Mildura, Bendigo and Avalon regional airports.

Victoria Police will also begin roving patrols at the land border from midnight tonight, similar to what occurred as part of our response to the South Australia outbreak.

The Department of Health and Human Services will look to set up testing sites at the domestic terminal in the coming days.

Victoria continues to work closely with NSW Health in response to an outbreak in NSW to ensure any people who have visited high-risk locations in the state immediately get tested and self-isolate.

If you think you may have been exposed or have been to these locations then please contact the Department on 1800 675 398. We will ensure that anyone who has been exposed to this outbreak - regardless of whether you normally live in Victoria, NSW or elsewhere - is supported to safely and appropriately self-isolate and get tested.

NSW Health are continually updating their high-risk exposure sites and we will advise the Victorian community accordingly.

Anyone from NSW who is in Victoria and who has even the slightest symptoms is urged to get tested immediately. There are almost 200 sites to get tested across Victoria; these tests are free for everyone and you will have your results by the next day.

Victoria has recorded one internationally acquired case of coronavirus today, diagnosed in a man in his 40s currently in hotel quarantine.

This brings the number of internationally acquired cases since Victoria commenced receiving international arrivals to 8.

This is the 49th straight day where Victoria has recorded zero daily community transmission cases. There are no new deaths.

Testing site details, including opening hours, are available at the Where to get tested page.

Victoria currently has eight active cases of coronavirus. All eight cases are in returned travellers in quarantine.

All arrivals are tested if they show symptoms, as well as at Day 3 and Day 11 of their 14-day quarantine.

Evidence from our earlier hotel quarantine program showed that just over one in every 100 returned travellers tested positive during their quarantine period.

The likelihood of a positive case will vary depending on which country someone has arrived from, but we would expect to see at least a similar rate of positive cases being diagnosed in the coming weeks.

Prior to international travellers arriving once again in Victoria, the last new case of coronavirus in Victoria was reported on 30 October 2020. At that time there were 71 active cases in Victoria.

Victoria resumed its hotel quarantine operations on 7 December. The provision of mandatory quarantine for returned overseas travellers is overseen by COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV).

International arrivals will initially be capped at an average of 160 passengers per day, with the program to be continually assessed before a decision is made to increase the number of arrivals.

A total of 3,728,212 test results have been received in Victoria which is an increase of 7,570 since yesterday.

Wastewater monitoring is continuing at more than 60 locations across Victoria.

Low levels of viral fragments have been detected in samples taken this week at wastewater treatment plants in Castlemaine and Corio, and in sub-catchments of the Colac sewage system.

It is likely people who have recovered from COVID-19 and are no longer infectious are continuing to shed the virus. We have seen similar patterns in multiple locations across the state and we expect this to continue. It is not a cause for concern.

As always, it remains vitally important that any Victorians with any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, stay home and get tested.

Further information about the wastewater testing program can be found at the Wastewater testing page.

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

Link to DHHS Article